Coun. Eric Woodward (right) talked to Mayor Jack Froese before the Monday council meeting. (Matthew Claxton/Langley Advance)

Phasing plans for Brookswood defeated

Council voted against staggering neighbourhood planning in Brookswood-Fernridge.

An attempt to phase in the neighbourhood planning under the new Brookswood Official Community Plan was defeated at Langley Township council Monday.

Newly-elected Councillor Eric Woodward called for the council to stagger the completion of three of the four plans for the Brookswood-Fernridge area.

“I think we do need to take some time with it,” Woodward said.

He suggested completing Fernridge, the southernmost of the neighbourhoods, first, then Booth, then Rinn.

The Township council voted last year to move those projects forward together. The fourth neighbourhood, Glenwood, is the furthest from existing population centres and services such as water and sewer, and is expected to be planned last.

Township staff had planned to finish all three of the initial neighbourhood plans, including public consultation, over 12 to 18 months.

Coun. Blair Whitmarsh pushed back on Woodward’s idea, saying working on all three of them together would ensure good planning, so that environmental and road network issues across the area could be considered at once.

He also noted that Fernridge is the most distant neighbourhood now from suburban Brookswood.

Woodward said Fernridge has more complicated issues facing it, so would be a good plan to “get right first.”

It would be almost impossible for staff to actually bring all three neighbourhood plans to council at once even if they wanted to, said the Township’s manager of engineering and community development, Ramin Seifi.

A report is pending that will outline for council a schedule and terms of reference for public consultation on the plans, he said.

Ultimately, Woodward’s motion was defeated six to three, with Woodward, Coun. Petrina Arnason, and Coun. Kim Richter voting in favour.

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