Editor: I continue to follow the “University District” saga with interest. It has more twists and turns than Peyton Place, and makes even less sense.
What else can one say about a proposal that is brought forward, withdrawn, brought forward again greatly expanded, rejected by the Agricultural Land Commission, then downsized and brought forward yet again.
Yes it is back, with another public hearing probable on Dec. 3. And this new version still includes property that the ALC says will not be allowed out of the Agricultural Land Reserve. Can they not read?
The bigger issue, however, is the Wall property. The Township’s attempt to graft the Wall property onto the University District is notably lacking in credibility.
The property is isolated from Trinity Western University by a large wetland and the Salmon River. The proposed 25-acre development on the property would be the worst sort of spot zoning with expensive housing (much too expensive for professors, much less students), right in the middle of the ALR.
Yes, one councillor did lecture us (once a teacher always a teacher) that the Wall family is going to give 50 acres to the Township, with a walkway to TWU. But careful research would have shown that a walkway over this huge wetland is not practical.
And the 50 acres are, for the most part, already protected as a wetland and riparian zone along the Salmon River. So the 50 acres is not so much a gift as a Trojan horse that ties the Township to the Wall property, to the benefit of only the Wall family.
One has to question the actions of senior staff, when so much is being done for the Wall family, while the public has been ignored. Requests to participate in planning and provide input into the new OCP have met with the proverbial stone wall.
Meanwhile, the cost of this fiasco in legal fees and the cost to Langley’s reputation are substantial.
Agree or disagree with the University District — it is clear that the Wall property does not belong.