Design concepts for renovations to modern infill buildings, and for proposed new construction should attempt to blend harmoniously with the historic elements of the streetscape. - Fort Langley Building Facade Design Guidelines
I think it's important to look at the size and impact of the proposed building to the village commercial core. At 43,736 sq.ft. it is at least five times the size of any other commercial building in the village.
Due to its size, frontage, and height, it will always look like one huge building. No architectural enhancements will change that - all in direct contradiction to the Fort Langley Building Guidelines.
The proponent owns several other properties that could accommodate buildings this size or larger. Mr Woodward, in his presentation to council, said he wants "to propel Fort Langley forward and try not to fit in with buildings 50 or 60 years old."
Forward to where? I am not sure, but it sounds like those other locations are prime candidates for the wrecking ball and the door opening to more three-storey buildings.
Standing at the corner of Glover Road and Mavis Avenue, Coulter Berry would be 46 feet high - 16.5 feet over the height restriction of 29 feet.
As a corner lot, this three-storey perspective will continue down both Glover and Mavis.
Comparisons have been made to other three-storey buildings.
Our community hall is much farther set back from Glover Road, thus lessening the impact of its height. As the focal point of our heritage tradition, it would be a shame to take away some of its grandeur by allowing other three-storey buildings.
Second is Heritage Manor, commercial on the ground floor and two storeys of residential. With only one floor commercial, its parking requirements are much less than Coulter Berry. This structure was built before the height restriction came into effect, it is set back from the road, is not a corner lot, and has mature tree foliage that is much older than the building itself.
Surrounding the proposed Coulter Berry is:
IGA is a 1-storey building, Just completing Reid's Garage a new development that is 2 storeys. To be built and looking forward to it.
The Riverside also a two storey building. Just over 10 years old
Across the street on Glover Rd is Wendel's, a one and two storey building. Just over 10 years old
Behind the Coulter Berry is a "small under developed site" (Mr Woodwards words) called Beatniks. It's usage as a restaurant under 10 years old. The building is actually much older. A converted residence that the Choquette Family put a lot of effort to make this happen. Beatniks is a prime example of how our present heritage bylaws work.
Further down Glover Rd there is the Sitelines Building a 2 storey under 10 years old
The six buildings surrounding the proposed Coulter-Berry all were built within our heritage guidelines. All the owners successfully invested into Fort Langley OCP.
The proponent is trying to convey the feeling that Fort Langley is in need of economic help, that a three-storey building is the only financial way.
I put to you that the vacancy rate at this time is around three commercial leases. In these most troubling economic times, we are a vibrant community steadily improving our economic health.
Andy Schildhorn, Fort Langley