Letter: Coulter Berry building slippery slope for Fort Langley

Dear Editor,

I have been watching the controversy over the Coulter Berry development over the past months with special interest, having been raised in Eastern Ontario, where fabulous heritage communities such as Perth, Merrickville, and Smiths Falls exist on the Rideau Canal, built in 1829-a designated UNESCO historical site.

On top of this, my brother, Dr. Glenn J. Lockwood, has been in the heritage and historical business for 40-plus years – i.e. his entire career – and has written extensive histories on many of those communities.

When I posed to him what was proposed for this development, he advised this could be the thin edge of the wedge which would irreparably damage the tone of Fort Langley for the future.

Eastern Ontario, an economically depressed area within a stones throw of Parliament, has the communities of Perth and Merrickville which have very rigid standards for refurbishment, restoration, and replacement of any building on the Main Street.

The net result of this rigid process is unparalleled economic activity, tourism, and real estate values substantially higher than the surrounding area.

Contrast this with Smiths Falls, which had an equal opportunity to participate in the Heritage renewal, but due to poor planning and zoning by a clueless council, it is now relegated to being the “welfare capital” of Eastern Ontario!

Might I suggest council read a book, Reviving Main Street, published by Heritage Canada in association with University of Toronto Press, before anything of a heritage nature is done which would compromise Fort Langley’s future?

Spot zoning coupled with constant “revising” of OCPs and Heritage Guidelines are the slippery slope to an irretrievable position down the road.

Kudos to Councilors Davis and Long for asking why the special dispensation for this project!

In closing, I understand the proponent of this project has major commercial tenancies in Fort Langley. As such, how many of these commercial tenants have been forcibly dragooned into either tacitly supporting this endeavour, or at worst, forced to keep their mouths shut and opinions to themselves with the unstated yet implicit threat of non-renewal of commercial leases, rent increases, etc.

Why doesn’t council keep in mind concentration of commercial tenancies in the hands of one landlord is not good for competitive leaseholds – think of the major anger at the concentration of cellular service to two major players in Canada.

It is imperative council is not seen as being at the beck and call of a major developer/landlord/election-war-chest contributor in the eyes of the community.

Lee Lockwood, Langley

Just Posted

Langley’s Georgia Ellenwood is Olympics bound

She has effectively qualified for the 2020 games based on international ranking

Campaign against hospital parking fees is gathering momentum: organizer

Gary Hee said the bid to eliminate ER parking fees will be his last petition campaign

United voice calls for more senior services in Aldergrove

‘The people here deserve more’ says founder of the local Seniors Resource Fair

Aldergrove’s water park opens to public at discounted rates

Though the pool remains closed, the Township has decided to charge a toonie for admission

Fraser Valley pup trained in Aldergrove co-stars in A Dog’s Journey

Film premiers this weekend, starting Friday in Canadian theatres

UPDATE: B.C. pilot killed in Honduras plane crash

The crash happened in the Roatan Islands area, according to officials

Raptors beat Bucks 118-112 in 2OT thriller

Leonard has 36 points as Toronto cuts Milwaukee’s series lead to 2-1

‘Teams that win are tight’: B.C. Lions search for chemistry at training camp

The Lions added more than 50 new faces over the off-season, from coaching staff to key players

Rescue crews suspend search for Okanagan kayaker missing for three days

71-year-old Zygmunt Janiewicz was reported missing Friday

B.C. VIEWS: Reality of our plastic recycling routine exposed

Turns out dear old China wasn’t doing such a great job

Structure fire destroys Surrey tire shop

RCMP have closed Fraser Highway down to traffic from 152 Street to 88 Avenue

Carbon dioxide at highest levels for over 2.5 million years, expert warns of 100 years of disruption

CO2 levels rising rapidly, now higher than at any point in humanity’s history

Multi-vehicle collision on highway in Chilliwack

Accident involves several vehicles, in the westbound lanes says Drive BC

Man dies after being hit by car in East Vancouver

The driver involved is cooperating with police

Most Read