Last week, the worlds of Brookswood and Fort Langley residents were alive with the sound of public hearings.
Three days and more than 25 hours of speaking time were needed to cover the very controversial and, in many cases, emotional subject matter: proposed revisions to Official Community Plans, rezoning, spot zoning, and rural plan amendments.
It was interesting that, because of the commonality of the problems faced in both communities, speakers from each spoke at both public hearings.
Speakers opposing the non-conforming Coulter Berry building in Fort Langley were, in the main, people using the full five minute allotment, with their well-thought-out, reasoned objections to the proposal.
They contrasted sharply with the large number of people who hurried up to the microphone, and stated their name and address and the mantra, â€œI support the Coulter Berry,â€ and returned to their seat, or in some cases, left the building completely.
One can only wonder at their motivation.
Our council has some serious decisions ahead, decisions that will change forever the lives of some of us and the destinies of our communities.
Certainly, in the case of historic Fort Langley, questions being asked are: are the plans of a single developer worth dividing an entire community; should we have a double standard for developers; should we be changing the character of a historic village which brings in more than 200,000 visitors a year with a large effect on B.C.â€™s economy; are we setting the stage for further costly lawsuits?
Citizens are going to ask many questions when considering future council members, when November 2014 comes and we vote.
Bob Blackhall, Langley