A Langley City man has been partially banned from attending Township council meetings, speaking to staff, or talking to the mayor and councillors.
Jacob de Raadt is a familiar face to anyone who has attended a Township council meeting over the past few years.
An engineer, he frequently comments on a wide variety of issues in virtually every neighbourhood in Langley.
It was his correspondence about the Athenry Development in Willoughby that resulted in a legal opinion and council vote.
De Raadt is now banned from setting foot in the Township Civic Facility on 65th Avenue, unless he receives written permission from the mayor and council, and he is banned from contacting the council or staff, except through the Township's law firm, Bull Housser.
When contacted by the Langley Advance, de Raadt had no comment.
Bull Housser has been instructed to send de Raadt a letter telling him to "cease publishing or delivering any defamatory or racist communications in respect of the Township, current or past staff or elected officials."
Samples of his communications in the lawyers' report include accusing civic staff of misleading council, corruption, and references to Nazi Germany.
The Township will also send a letter of complaint to the Association of Professional Engineers about de Raadt's conduct.
De Raadt frequently mentions his engineering background in his presentations to the council.
His rapid-fire speeches and Power Point presentations typically cover issues such as parking, traffic, density, and community planning.
De Raadt has been applauded by those who are also opposed to the developments about which he has raised issues.
Although a City resident, he attends church in Willoughby and has spoken about a number of developments in the area of 208th Street and 80th Avenue. He has also spoken about issues in Walnut Grove, Fort Langley, and other neighbourhoods.
A group referred to as "neighbours" of the Athenry project have been sent a similar, if considerably less strict, communication.
According to a report by Bull Housser, neighbours of the Athenry project, which is located at 208th Street and 83rd Avenue, have sent more than 60 emails and made "countless" communications to both staff and elected officials.
The neighbours are not banned from Township hall grounds, but all communications from them must go through the law firm. The source of the rancor among the neighbours is the anger over the controversial Athenry project. The project mixes condos, commercial space, and an Irish cultural centre.
Originally spearheaded by Langley resident Tony McCamley, it has been sold to Lower Mainland firm Peak Construction. Foundations are being built now.
The project was approved in early 2011, after a redesign by developers and several public meetings.
Residents said the project would overshadow their existing homes to the north, destroying their property values.
Some of the residents then launched a lawsuit against council's decision, but the Yorkson Community Association allowed its suit to be dismissed in October of 2011.
In June, Township councillor Charlie Fox publicly mused about having a member of the public banned from council meetings for disruptive behaviour, but the matter was not debated.
@ Copyright 2013