The Langley Heritage Society is not in favour of the Coulter-Berry Building as presented in its current three-storey plan.
The project is not in character with the uniqueness of Fort Langley, and sets a dangerous precedent for the future by ignoring the heritage guidelines by its height, sheer mass, and visual dominance.
On May 3, 1993, council adopted the Fort Langley Building Façade Design Guidelines for height restrictions in Fort Langley:
"The maximum allowable height for any building within the heritage alteration permit area shall not exceed two storeys or nine metres (29.5 feet). This height will preserve the existing scale of development in the downtown area."
This is what the residents of the area asked for. Do the people now really want three-or four-storey buildings in this area?
The municipality has arrived at a formula to determine the number of parking spaces required for commercial/residential buildings to function efficiently. Rules in Fort Langley allow a developer to reduce the commercial requirement by 50 per cent. The Coulter Berry proposal supplies 67 on-site parking spaces, but that still leaves potentially 46 cars looking for street parking on any given day, and adding to an already existing congestion issue.
The three-storey building will cover 66 per cent of the lot, while the two-storey plan has an open area to accommodate on-site parking, and therefore fills less than 40 per cent of the lot, a huge difference in visual impact.
Negative comments recently documented include:
. People don't realize the impact of the community heritage atmosphere.
. This takes away from the Fort Langley feeling, inch by inch.
. Destroy the atmosphere of the village and this will set a precedent.
. Why are the guidelines not being followed?
. What is the future? A tunnel down Glover Road, with three-or four-storey buildings on each side? The appearance and ambiance of historic Fort Langley will be destroyed.
The Langley Heritage Society does not support the three-storey Coulter Berry proposal.
It does, however, approve of the original two-storey building as proposed, and which was approved by the Heritage Advisory Committee as a preferable project.
Fred Pepin, Langley Heritage Society