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Three Brookswood neighbourhood plans adopted by Langley Township council

After years of wrangling, final decision made following revamped OCP
Langley Township Mayor Eric Woodward talked to locals at an open house info session on the Booth, Rinn, and Fernridge neighbourhood earlier this spring. (Langley Advance Times files)

Neighbourhood plans that will guide the growth and development of much of south Brookswood were adopted by Langley Township council this month.

Neighbourhood plans for the Booth, Fernridge, and Rinn neighbourhoods were approved by an 8-1 vote at the July 24 council meeting.

“The Brookswood process, as we’ve seen from this council, has been a challenging one,” said Mayor Eric Woodward.

He and other council members noted the long history of attempts to revamp Brookswood’s Official Community Plan (OCP), which included a failed 2014 plan, a revamped plan that was adopted in 2017, and a long wait and multiple revisions for three of the four neighbourhood plans.

The most recent process began in November, when the council asked for some major changes to the draft plans. Those changes, brought forward in the spring, would have increased the total population of the area, once built out, to 63,000, considerably larger than contemplated in the 2017 OCP.

After an open house and public hearing, the council suggested a number of amendments that dropped the total estimated final population to about 46,000.

Both versions of the plan have emphasized greenways and parks, denser development near major roads like 200th Street and 208th, and phased development along those major routes.

“This plan is not going to be like Willoughby,” said Councillor Steve Ferguson, saying the area will look more like Murrayville when it is developed. He said it takes into consideration schools and community centres as well as housing.

The final version of the plan contains mostly single family housing, with density in the right places, Woodward said.

He also noted that all the growth and development will not happen overnight.

“The build out on Brookswood is going to be a long one,” said the mayor.

During public hearings, some residents raised concerns that have long been at the centre of the Brookswood planning process – tree preservation, neighbourhood character, and the preservation of the local aquifer.

But many others called for development to move ahead. Retirees who have lived on their semi-rural acreages for years were hoping to be able to sell the land for development.

There is still one neighbourhood plan left to complete, for Glenwood.

READ MORE: Density at issue at latest Brookswood plans hearing

READ MORE: Brookswood plans revised again at Langley Township council

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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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