The Township's planned university district was unexpectedly debated at a last-minute meeting on Aug. 1.
For legal reasons, council had to agree to consider amending the Trinity Western University plan to include the controversial Wall property development to the school's south.
The consideration was needed so the Township can keep negotiating with Metro Vancouver, which has stalled plans for both Wall and the TWU district.
Both Metro Vancouver and the Township say they have the final authority to make land use decisions, in this case the creation of a university district and the types of development allowed inside it.
In May, Metro Vancouver almost took the Township to court over the university district, essentially claiming the entire plan allowed urban sprawl outside of regional planning boundaries.
The Township backed down and is holding off on any final decisions until they can be talked over with Metro.
However, including the Wall family property in a new university district boundary did not sit well with three councillors.
David Davis, Kim Richter, and Michelle Sparrow voted against Tuesday's motion.
"When was the Wall application ever considered part of the university district?" Richter asked, noting it is a private developer's project. The developers suggested it could be used for student or faculty housing, but there is no formal link between the school and the development.
"Wall seems to be piggybacking on Trinity's issues," said Davis.
Township administrator Mark Bakken said the issue is not what council votes to allow inside the district, but whether it has the right to determine the size and scope of such a district, or whether Metro Vancouver will get that right.
"I think this is a bellwether issue in the Township of Langley," said Coun. Charlie Fox, suggesting other communities will soon face similar challenges by Metro Vancouver.
Mayor Jack Froese said the motion was simply to put all of the Township's cards on the table, and allow staff to negotiate on any issue with their Metro Van counterparts.
The Wednesday afternoon meeting, called Tuesday, was needed before Township and Metro staff get together.