Langley City has a “true downtown’ unlike neighbouring Langley Township and city of Surrey, City CAO Francis Cheung said. The City has launched the second phase of an ambitious plan to leverage its advantages to make it a regional hub. File

Langley City launches second phase of Nexus plan

Before rapid transit arrives, changes will be needed

Phase two of an ambitious plan to make Langley City an important regional hub is underway, with council approving a financial plan amendment for implementation of the Nexus plan.

“Council’s decision means we can now begin putting the vision into practice,” said Francis Cheung, the City Chief Administrative Officer (CAO).

Following the Dec. 3 council decision, the City posted a formal request on the BC Bids site for proposals from consultants to work on the Nicomekl River district neighbourhood plan.

It also posted one for consultants to work on updates to the Official Community Plan and zoning bylaw updates.

All of the work is in preparation for the impending arrival of a rapid transit line from Surrey, to ensure the City is best positioned to take advantage.

Cheung said the recently announced switch from LRT to SkyTrain along the proposed Surrey-to-Langley won’t affect the City plans.

“It’s going to be the same whether it’s LRT or SkyTrain,” Cheung said.

“[It’s] fixed-rail rapid transit.”

He noted the City had previously expressed a preference for SkyTrain over LRT.

Cheung said the second phase of Nexus will develop more specific measures to build on the City’s strengths.

One big advantage he cited is the City’s core, the fact that there actually is one.

“We have a downtown, and you can’t say that the Township of Langley and the city of Surrey have a true downtown,” Cheung said.

He estimates it will take about a year to work through all the regulatory and other changes, promising a “robust communication and public consultation process” while it is underway.

READ MORE: Langley City prepares for rapid transit arrival

The six initiatives, which are part of the amended 2018-2022 Capital Improvement Plan, include:

Update the Official Community Plan to reflect future rapid transit, with consultation on new zoning and design elements to support housing, commercial development and pedestrian-friendly community hubs;

Update the zoning bylaw to align with the objectives and policies of the new Official Community Plan;

Create a Nicomekl River district neighbourhood plan to guide redevelopment along the river;

New transit hub design that will transform the existing Logan Avenue exchange into a transportation hub for B-Line and rapid bus service linking the rest of the region to Langley City;

Complete a performing arts centre feasibility study;

Establish a prosperity fund for future land acquisitions that will ensure the City can act when strategic land parcels become available.

From the City Request For Proposals posted to BC Bid:

“Langley City has always been a nexus, a place of meeting, and a space between places. The Nicomekl River that runs through our community offers a snapshot of journeys past: items left behind by Indigenous groups along its banks, perhaps en route from the coast to the fishing grounds of the lower Fraser Canyon. A route travelled later by European explorers and now marked forever in our history as Portage Park. We are now the nexus between the Fraser Valley and Metro Vancouver—a portal between two worlds.”

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