New owners for controversial Langley Athenry project

Four-year process ‘too long’, says original project owner

Almost a year after their protracted development application was finally approved, the owners of Athenry Developments have sold the project.

Tony McCamley confirmed on Wednesday that he has sold the development, which is currently being built on four acres on the northeast corner of 83 Avenue and 208 Street.

The purchaser is Peak Construction, a builder and restoration company based in Surrey.

Among Peak’s major projects is Morgan Creek, an upscale housing estate in south Surrey.

A year ago, Athenry received final approval for its development of houses, offices and shops, and an Irish Cultural Centre.

The company will retain the Irish centre.

Not long after Township council approved the development, a group of residents launched legal action against the Township to halt the development. About a dozen neighbours said that some elements would impact the quality of their lives and reduce the value of their homes. They said that the proposed buildings are too tall and too close to their homes thus blocking out the sun, and that the proposed landscaping will be an insufficient barrier from the buildings.

The case was dismissed by mutual consent in October, 2011.

While the case may not have delayed the start of construction, the whole process had taken four years and the McCamleys had had enough.

“It took too long,” McCamley said on Jan. 25, adding that it could be another four before the project is complete.

The family will still retain interest in the Irish Cultural Centre component of the development, McCamley said.

By taking over Athenry, Peak will also assume responsibility for the moving and restoration of the Willoughby Community Hall, to which Athenry had committed $500,000.

Meanwhile, a Willoughby resident alarmed at the amount of road kill is urging Peak Construction to follow an excavation protocol that will help protect wildlife.

Since the site has already been leveled, some of the procedures in the protocol no longer apply, Patricia Tallman told Doug Wilson of Peak Construction.

But she would like the company to prohibit earth works during nesting or dening season if terrestrial wildlife is present, particularly rabbits, opossums, raccoons, squirrels.