Parts of 208th Street are widened, but others remain narrow as development proceeds at different paces on different lots (Langley Advance Times files)

Woodward calls for new plan to widen Langley’s 208th Street

The Township councillor wants a new developer-paid fund to fill in gaps on the road

A plan to finish widening 208th Street and other roads in need of expansion in Willoughby will be pitched by Councillor Eric Woodward at next week’s Township council meeting.

Woodward released the plan through Facebook and is sending it out to his fellow councillors this week, in advance of an expected debate next Monday.

The issue is that parts of 208th – as well as 80th Avenue, 200th Street, 202A near R.E. Mountain Secondary, and portions of several other roads – are being widened and upgraded only as development proceeds.

Local residents have complained for years that this means 208th Street abruptly widens and contracts between two, three, and four lanes at various points between 68th Avenue and the overpass in the north.

It also means that sidewalks start and stop, or are only built down one side of certain streets.

“There is currently no prospect of development completing 208th Street between 68th Avenue and 76th Avenue due to the Smith Neighbourhood Plan not yet [being] underway,” Woodward wrote in a memo. “As the situation sits today, with development applications not even being contemplated for both sides this corridor, it could be 10-plus years before this section of 208th Street is completed without policy reform, significant depletion of the DCC [development cost charges] program, or unacceptable property tax increases.”

Buying the road frontages and building 208th to its full expected width would cost in the tens of millions of dollars.

Woodward’s plan to deal with the issue is to create a new Willoughby Arterial Road Completion Amenity Policy.

Amenity funds already exist in the Township and many other communities. Developers pay into them for things such as greenways in the nearby neighbourhoods.

There are about 1,400 developable acres available for building in Willoughby, Woodward’s memo said.

As more lots are developed, more money would flow into the fund. Instead of simply getting developers with frontage on major roads to build upgrades, it would spread the burden to all properties being developed in the area.

Once it’s set up, even before there is significant money collected through the policy, the Township could borrow to begin to deal with some of the gaps in the completed road network, Woodward suggested. The borrowing would be paid back through the fund.

He said he hasn’t included the amount the amenity fund would charge developers, because he doesn’t want to throw out a number before Township staff have had a chance to take a look at the idea.

He also mentions the same idea could be tried in Brookswood-Fernridge, which could see significant development in the near future.

“The opportunity in Fernridge is different,” Woodward said.

“We are going to end up inevitably with the same kind of missing gaps in the road network,” he noted. Putting in a road amenity policy early would help cut down on that issue from the start.

“Development must pay for development,” Woodward says in his memo.

Just Posted

Langley siblings collect bottles for a brother they never got to know

Fundraising for ‘families who lost a baby and families who can’t have a baby”

VIDEO: Mark Warawa undergoes cancer surgery

Doctors told Langley-Aldergrove M.P. the goal is ‘holding it at bay’

Update: Langley cupcakes against cancer fundraiser a sellout

Supporters rally behind Christine Tulloch, a crusader against cancer, who has suffered a relapse

Police campaign swoops in on speeders on Fraser Highway in Aldergrove

The roads are getting too ‘busy’ for just one lane, says RCMP volunteer.

PHOTOS: Aldergrove’s aquatic areas partially reopen

Discounted prices in effect until leisure pool construction finished

Kelowna toddler suffers cracked skull after fall from balcony

Neighbour who found the two-year-old boy said he has a bump the size of a golf ball on his head

Baby boom seniors putting pressure on B.C. long-term care: report

B.C. leads Canada in growth of dementia, dependence on care

RCMP probe if teen was intentionally hit with ski pole by mystery skier on B.C. mountain

The incident happened on March 20 on Grouse Mountain. Police are urging witnesses to come forward

Support growing for orphaned Okanagan child after father dies in highway crash

Family thanks emergency crews for assistance in traumatic incident

Pipeline protester chimes in on Justin Trudeau’s B.C. fundraising speech

The government purchased the Trans Mountain pipeline and expansion project for $4.5 billion

UPDATED: B.C. man says he’ll take People’s Party lawsuit as far as he can

Federal judge shut down Satinder Dhillon’s ‘nonsensical’ motion to bar use of PPC name in byelection

Coquitlam RCMP release video in search for witness to crash that killed girl, 13

Witness is described as a slim Asian man with short, black hair, no facial hair and wearing glasses

Four rescued from Golden Ears mountain

Hikers from Surrey started out for Evans Peak at 6 p.m.

Most Read