Editor: Langley politics and planning is similar to Ken Follett’s World Without End. The novel vividly highlights how the kings and lords scheme and manipulate, with the help of their local parish masters. Meanwhile, the peasants struggle through their daily lives.
Langley`s lords are the landowners and developers frowning at us from their perches in West Vancouver or Coal Harbour. These lords can sit on land for years, while we peons battle over such mundane things as schools for our children.
The lords use fun and crafty means to influence our parish masters, the so-called governments of Langley City and Langley Township. The whole thing is a multi-million dollar game that the peasants (aka: voting citizens) can barely follow, because the lords can change rules and players at will.
The year 2012 was a busy one for the lords of Langley, and the peasants are surely befuddled. First, there was the election, and in comes a slate of obviously pro-development parish masters.
Within weeks, a parcel of land that most Langley peasants never even knew they owned was put up for sale in a place called Glen Valley. What is now a peaceful forest will soon become horse barns for the lords.
The parish masters carefully crafted this scheme under the distraction of a swimming pool in a place called Aldergrove. This pool is the same one promised many times over the years to the Aldergrove peasants, so they are understandably excited.
What is humourous (unless you are an owl or a deer) is that the parish masters will get a few million for land to finance a pool that will cost 10 times more that that. This is a frivolous matter for the lords. They just want those trees developed before those pesky WOLF people get too “busy.”
Peasant citizens think that Agricultural Land Reserve means “preserve for the future,” however the lords think reserve means “develop now for maximum profit.”
I refer to the Wall farm/Trinity Western University project, which pulls out 150 acres of great pasture and farmland to build another development with another strip mall in another area with no schools and limited transit. All this so the Wall lords and the Trinity lords can make their world better.
The Langley Lords have also been very busy in south Langley — they quietly amassed a bunch of land at 200 Street and 32 Avenue, that they call the Griffith neighborhood. Next they paid our parish masters $500,000 to create a façade of community planning.
They paid for the community meetings, and even provided cookies and coffee. There were heated discussions about trees, water and small mammals. It is all very benign and inclusive and their latest Griffith report has pictures and everything.
The end result will be yet another development located far from the already existing (and underutilized) Brookswood schools, transit, stores and other infrastructure.
Well citizens, remember your lords and their schemes the next time you are waiting at one of the six traffic lights at the 200 Street interchange.
Yes, Willoughby, that model of suburban sprawl with its lack of schools, inadequate transportation, road kill, grow-ops and illegal suites. The lords have greatly benefited from Willoughby, so much so that they are working with the parish to put in a casino.
It’s a perfect place for peasants to be lulled into submission, while they place their final bit of disposable income into the Parish of Langley’s coffers.
Langley is truly a World Without End.