Letter: Langley planning must factor in residents’ concerns

Dear Editor,

Sent to Township Mayor Jack Froese:

My name is Diana Dawson and a resident of Meadowbrook in Brookswood. I moved my family here four years ago from a rapidly changing Richmond neighbourhood that I did not want my children to grow up in anymore. The development was not thought out and the changes were devastating and angering to many. You only have to Google “Richmond’s changing neighbourhoods” to see what I am talking about. We chose south Langley for the unique atmosphere that offers so much to our kids and to us. Clean air and open spaces with trees abound. Minutes from beautiful parks, our school, Noel Booth, and the lovely aquifer area around it. We were the first young family to move onto our street. Now since there are five new families with babies who also moved here and are starting to live our new taxpaying lives here.

I am writing to you regarding the new OCP for Brookswood and Fernridge. I am urging you to take utmost care in how you handle this entire process. The residents in this area are still upset about what kind of plan was put forth in the last OCP proposal and are bracing for another ill planned and pocket-lining plan that does not consider this area and the vastly unique aspects about it. I urge you to prove us wrong.

Show us a plan that consults the residents who own here and who brought their families to grow up here and augments the plan based on their input and proper civic area planning to give the Brookswood and Fernridge area residents what we deserve. We deserve a well laid out and different plan to maintain the aspects that make this area as amazing and unique as it is. You cannot regrow what you will destroy once you decide.

This is the horse capital of B.C. yet the areas to enjoy and have horses here are disappearing. This area needs to have a blended larger lot community that slowly blends into a permanent semi rural area to keep this area as green and natural as it is. Once you develop it you cannot go back. Steps must be taken to preserve our ecosystems and aquifers and the dangers posed by rushed and ill thought out development around this area.

Pay attention to the greater issues affecting our world. The ecosystems are at a tipping point and creating a neighbourhood plan that keeps this in tact, larger lots so families can farm their own food and keep carbon farming alive to reverse the damage done to our atmosphere. Permaculture and Carbon farming are what we need now in all communities. If you consider this and encourage this you will be among the heroes in this world. Didn’t you go into this position to do just that – make a difference?

Consider what more population will do to the area in what we will need. We need an expansion to the Langley hospital or a whole new hospital to service this area. The wait times and service is already becoming a huge issues for every age of citizen. We have three small children and already we make the decision to drive to Children’s Hospital as we have waited far too long for care here. That is unacceptable.

Rec centers that reflect our unique community and the programs to service us need to be added.

Think this through and play it forward. The whole way forward. Be the mayor that on election day when you won your position you had in your head you would be, the mayor that the people who voted for you dreamed you would be. Care about these issues and not short term gain of those that are demanding this whole OCP to go through so they can profit and leave. Do the right thing. Show my kids that people paid by the people in office really do care and make long lasting, well thought out decisions – decisions that will always be tied to your reputation and your legacy in public service. Decisions that the people who you serve will live with for the rest of their lives unless what you do causes them to want to leave.

Can you imagine being the hope that is our new prime minister? He is not the only one with hopes and dreams riding on his back. You can turn away those offering you and your team “incentives” (there are no other reasons why such a terrible and ill planned OCP was suggested before) and serve us your people. We supported you now you have to support us. It is an everlasting decision you are about to make. You cannot bring back the trees and the ecosystems that you can and will destroy if you do this.

Please do not do this and do not separate the two area. There is no reason other than to take out all the Brookswood voters and to push ahead something you know shouldn’t happen to your Langley. Please do the right thing and do not allow this to happen. Hire proper, independent civic planners and do this right, do right by us and do right by what you said you stood for when the voters let you into office. There is no rush for this and a better way. Take the time and do this the right way. We will all support the right OCP. Do not separate us, there is no need. If you do, you are clearly stating what you and your motive is. What will be your legacy for your time in office?

Sincerely and with all hope,

Diana Dawson, mother of 3, wife and businessperson, Fernridge

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