A public hearing on the proposed new Official Community Plan (OCP) for Langley City produced 70 suggested changes to the document that will shape future development to leverage the pending arrival of SkyTrain.
Based on a staff summary of input from the 14 people who spoke at the June 28 hearing, as well as 42 written submissions, the biggest concerns centred on two proposals; the OCP “ground oriented residential land use” policy that would encourage townhouse development near 200 and 208 Streets and the potential impact on land speculation – and a proposed walking trail connecting Hi-Knoll Park to 200 Street just north of 50th Ave. and the potential impact it could have on the environment and privacy for homeowners along the route.
In a report responding to the two concerns, staff recommended maintaining the policies.
Emphasizing townhouse development was “not expected to have a significant impact,” the report said, and the policy would achieve the key goal of removing driveway accesses from those arterial corridors “as these projects will be required to construct back lanes for access” and would “broaden housing options in an incremental and small-scale manner.”
As for the trail, the report noted the path, as drawn, was an “example only” and “further study and engagement will be undertaken to determine its alignment and design.”
Among the more than 30 changes recommended by staff and approved by council at the July 12 meeting, was adding language that said design of the path “will include environmental assessment, engineering reviewing, public engagement, and external agency consultation to determine specific alignment and detailed design.”
In his report to council, Director of Development Services Carl Johannsen said the updates “will provide an effective vision for guiding future growth in Langley City.”
Councillors gave the updates a thumbs-up, with Coun. Nathan Pachal declaring they show council and staff are listening to the public.
“I know not everyone will be happy, but it shows this has been a process where we have been listening the whole time,” Pachal commented.
Coun. Paul Albrecht was “totally impressed” by the engagement process, while Coun. Teri James called it “outstanding,”
“This is an amazing document that I stand fully behind,” James added.
Council unanimously voted to add the changes to the OCP when it comes back to council for third reading, which is expected at the July 26 meeting.
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