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Plan to rezone last undeveloped space in Langley industrial site draws opposition

Environmentalists are worried about West Creek’s ecosystem
Protection waterways and large mature trees on lands slated for possible development in Gloucester Industrial Park are concerns for Aldergrove’s Diane Kask. (Diane Kask/Special to the Langley Advance Times)

Local environmentalists are gathering petition signatures and planning to appear at a public hearing to oppose a plan to develop 36 acres of land in Aldergrove’s Gloucester Industrial Park.

The application to develop the land passed first and second readings at Langley Township council in late May.

The land has long been known as the golf course lands, and sits near the middle of the industrial park. In the 1970s, it was planned to be turned into a course, but that never happened.

Now part of the land is a natural wetland, complete with beaver dams and large ponds.

The application, if approved, would remove 36.79 acres (14.89 hectares) from the previous zonings and turn it into more industrial land.

The remaining 55.13 acres (22.3 hectares would be protected environmentally sensitive areas, as well as expanded stormwater collection ponds.

Aldergrove resident Diane Kask is one of those opposing the proposal.

She is worried about plans to remove “hazardous” trees as part of the project.

“Some of the trees in this area are so large I cannot wrap my arms around them,” she wrote.

She was also concerned about damage to existing wetland habitat by expanding a drainage pond

Kirk Robertson, a local environmentalist, said developing even a part of the last large green space left in the industrial district is a bad idea.

“We’re talking about the headwaters of West Creek,” he said.

West Creek runs north from that point and feeds the large West Creek wetlands around 72nd Avenue. A portion of the wetlands has been protected since 2006, when the B.C. Land Conservancy, Metro Vancouver, and the Township put up $2.5 million to buy the site.

The area is ecologically sensitive and is not open as a park, but there have been guided tours through the area in the past.

The site is unusual because it’s a wetland despite being in an upland area – along the plateau above Glen Valley, rather than in a lowland.

The creek is an important spawning ground for coho salmon, steelhead, and trout.

Robertson said opponents of the development plan are organizing to speak at the public hearing, scheduled for Monday, June 12 at 7 p.m. in the Township Civic Facility.

If the project is approved, the Township would receive $14 million in community amenity contributions (CACs) to be used for construction of recreation facilities, parks, and other public spaces.

READ ALSO: Fish sightings encourage protectors of West Creek

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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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