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Langley Township to take second look at several big developments

One project being reconsidered is a conversion of a rural area to industrial zoning
The Township of Langley Civic Facility. (Matthew Claxton/Langley Advance Times)

A number of development plans that were moving forward under the last Langley Township council have been put on hold after the new mayor called for reconsideration.

One of the powers of mayors in B.C. is to bring back items after they’ve been voted on, and ask for the council to reconsider the vote.

New Mayor Eric Woodward did so with three items at the meeting on Monday, Nov. 14, the first since the new council was sworn in.

The first was for a block of properties along 56th Avenue near 264th Street, which were to have been transformed from rural properties to industrial lots.

The eight lots would have added 36 more acres to the Gloucester Industrial Park.

READ MORE: Gloucester grows with addition of 36 acres of former rural land in Langley

READ ALSO: New development planned near R.E. Mountain in Willoughby

During debate last spring, Woodward, then a councillor, didn’t feel the Township was getting sufficient benefit for allowing the change, which would make the properties far more valuable for future development.

Development of the land was to include $2.8 million in environmental benefits and compensation, some land, and a $1.9 million community amenity contribution (CAC) to the Township for trail enhancements, rec facilities, and other projects.

The transformation of the properties from rural to industrial still has not been finalized, as the Metro Vancouver Board has to approve a change to the regional context statement, Township administrator Mark Bakken said at the Nov. 14 meeting.

“The matter is before the board,” Bakken said. That process could be paused by council, he noted.

Coun. Misty Van Popta said she wanted Township staff to talk to the landowners about a better CAC, more proportional to the value being created.

“I’ve never felt that the $1.9 [million] and the land exchange was enough for the amount of value that’s being created in this rezoning,” she said. “At this point, I would like staff to come back with a better offer.”

Van Popta’s suggestion of moving the matter to staff was approved, with Coun. Margaret Kunst opposed.

The council also approved reconsideration of two development projects, both by builder Qualico Mitchell Williams in the Willoughby area.

Coun. Tim Baillie said he wanted more information about roads, walkability, and density in both projects.

“I’d just like to have this explained a lot better,” Baillie said.

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Matthew Claxton

About the Author: Matthew Claxton

Raised in Langley, as a journalist today I focus on local politics, crime and homelessness.
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