Just a little bump in the Open Road

Editor: I attended the Langley City council meeting on Monday, Feb. 21, hoping to make a difference.

I oppose the oversized signs that Open Road Group wishes to erect for the new car dealership on Glover Road, as my condo is right across the street from where one of the signs will be.

I watched the presentation with utter dismay. The three ‘elegant’ signs are supposed to ‘feel to be understated’ and ‘still meet the impact required to meet the standard of a luxury brand.’

Open Road president Christian Chia started the whole presentation by outlining three goals. One was to minimize the proposal’s impact on its neighbours. It was a nice thing to say.

They opened it to questions, and I went up, but it didn’t matter what I said. When you are a non-suited ‘joe-schmo’ living in a condo across the road from a “gateway/landmark/icon project,” you end up being nothing but a whiner. I was a mere speed bump in the Open Road and Langley City council super highway.

When it came to passing the variance, two councillors spoke up, Councillors Dave Hall, and Rudy Storteboom. 

They were the only two who cared about the skyline and the impact of the signs on the neighbours, and who questioned the need for such large signs.

Mayor Peter Fassbender continued with “All in favour?” 

The rest of council followed suit, with no hesitation or word spoken. It was then that my heart sank. 

It felt cheapened, it felt like it was all for show, it felt like it was Councillors Hall and Storteboom vs. the mayor and his willing followers.

I don’t think they care about the people they already have, it’s more about the corporations they don’t have. They want the tax revenue without much regard for anyone else.

Obviously, Mr. Chia’s businesses are wanted in Langley above and beyond any regard for setting precedents for changing bylaws that were put in place to protect the interests of ordinary people. 

While I understand that business development benefits Langley and its citizens, I  just wanted to keep my view of the Golden Ears and sleep without having light from E.T.’s landing pad through my windows every night. Is that too much to ask? 

It seemed to be, and my concerns were brushed under the carpet. “Langley, The Place to Be” is becoming  “Langley, The Place of Huge Signs.”

Brett Friesen,

Langley