Senior planning Russell Nelson put up some of the comments from South Brookswood residents at a neighbourhood planning meeting on Thursday. (Matthew Claxton/Langley Advance Times)

Neighbourhood planning continues in Brookswood

Three neighbourhoods in South Brookswood are having new plans drafted

Residents of South Brookswood are digging into the details of what their neighbourhoods will look like under the revamped official community plan.

Neighbourhood Dialogue Sessions were held this week, in which small groups of locals met with Township staff and facilitators to talk about various aspects of their neighbourhoods now, and what they’ll look like in the future.

Three neighbourhoods – Booth, Rinn, and Fernridge – are being planned right now.

In one recent session, about a dozen locals received a presentation before breaking up into smaller groups.

The group, which was focused on the Booth neighbourhood, noted a number of hopes centered around the neighbourhood’s current mostly-rural character – environmentaly friendly, saving large trees, protection of wildlife corridors. They also wanted to maintain the neighbourhood’s character and maintain local services.

Fears included clearcutting, damage to lakes and aquifers, issues around parking and school availability.

Multiple ideas were tossed out about the way the neighbourhood could develop, ranging from making sure there are electric charging stations as more battery powered cars are in use, to talk about increased crime, the impact of climate change, and other issues.

Heritage, accessibility, and even the impact of density on temperature (through the “heat island” effect) were discussed.

Russell Nelson, a senior long range planner for the Township, offered expertise and listened to the residents at some of the sessions, including one for the Booth neighbourhood.

He noted the Township is looking at amending the standards for street trees in the South Brookswood area so that more conifers can be planted. Typically, deciduous trees are used along streets and sidewalks, but cedars and other conifers are more characteristic of Brookswood.

More neighbourhood planning is yet to come.

In April, the Township council appointed a 12-member Neighbourhood Planning Team, along with three six-member teams for each of the three neighbourhoods currently being planned.

The next big event for the public will be an open house on June 18th, from 4 to 8 p.m. at the South Langley Church, at 20098 22nd Ave.

The open house will allow the Township to present background info, an overview of the planning process, and seek public input on community values and assets in all three neighbourhoods.

Brookswood got a new official community plan (OCP) in 2017, after several years of wrangling and a failed attempt at bringing in a different OCP in 2014.

For more information on the Township’s planning process, visit their website.

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