Council, landowner still not talking over vacant Fort Langley buildings

Township council decided not to ask a local developer to speak to them.

Fort Langley property owner Eric Woodward won’t be meeting with the Township council – at least, not at their request.

The council debated inviting Woodward earlier this month to talk about his decision to board up a few businesses at some of the properties he owns in downtown Fort Langley.

Woodward has said the Township’s planning department was being intransigent in dealing with development proposals he had for three Fort Langley properties. Earlier this year, he withdrew all three development applications and boarded up some vacant houses and a couple of storefronts.

Council considered inviting Woodward to speak to them about the issues, but ultimately voted against issuing any special invitation. Councillors Kim Richter and Blair Whitmarsh were in favour of speaking to Woodward directly.

Woodward told the Langley Advance he doesn’t plan to go to the council himself.

“All I can do is make applications, and if the Township doesn’t process them fairly, what more can I do?” Woodward said.

Mayor Jack Froese noted that Woodward is within his rights to leave his properties vacant if he chooses.

“We’re certainly willing to work with him,” Froese said.

He said there is concern from the business community about boarded up buildings in the downtown, a concern echoed by Fort Langley Business Improvement Association president Gareth Abreo.

“Clearly, boarded up buildings do not contribute to building a vibrant streetscape,” Abreo said via email. “We are all concerned about the impact these boarded up buildings may have moving into our tourist seasons, but as this situation is relatively recent, we cannot measure impact as of yet.”

The BIA is encouraging temporary beautification of the plywood as a stopgap measure, but would ultimately like to see the stores open or redeveloped.

Members have also expressed confusion over why the situation “has escalated to its current state,” Abreo said.

“The Fort Langley BIA does not involve itself in private property disputes, and is not fully aware of the details surrounding the dispute,” Abreo said. “However, we encourage both parties to reopen communication, and work towards a resolution as quickly as possible.”

READ MORE: Langley Township considers meeting with Fort landowner

READ MORE: Developer abandons Fort Langley plans

Just Posted

Love of music shared with Langley’s little musicians

A Grade 11 R.E. Mountain student stepped up, realizing many local families couldn’t afford lessons.

Langley has no legion branch but will have poppy sales

A special poppy campaign starts later this month and needs volunteers.

Second Langley man found guilty in $6 million fraud

The co-accused in the Aggressive Roadbuilders fraud admitted his guilt in court.

‘Police are ready’ for legal pot, say Canadian chiefs

But Canadians won’t see major policing changes as pot becomes legal

Giants hand Victoria their first loss of the season

Langley’s WHL team went head to head with the Royals for the second day in a row, beating them 3-2.

Naked man jumping into Toronto shark tank a ‘premeditated’ stunt: official

The man swam in a tank at Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada

Mega Millions prize of $654M is nation’s 4th-largest

No one has won the U.S. jackpot in almost three months

Pot shop raids “highly unlikely” on Wednesday: head of police chiefs

Dozens of illegal pot stores have operated for years in Vancouver, Victoria and other municipalities in B.C.

Trump: Saudi king ‘firmly denies’ any role in Khashoggi mystery

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is travelling to the Middle East to learn more about the fate of the Saudi national

Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen dies at 65

Allen died in Seattle from complications of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma

Transport Canada to take new look at rules, research on school bus seatbelts

Canada doesn’t currently require seatbelts on school buses

Sockeye run in Shuswap expected to be close to 2014 numbers

Salute to the Sockeye on Adams River continues until Sunday, Oct. 21 at 4 p.m.

Michelle Mungall’s baby first in B.C. legislature chamber

B.C. energy minister praises support of staff, fellow MLAs

Canucks: Pettersson in concussion protocol, Beagle out with broken forearm

Head coach Travis Green called the hit ‘a dirty play’

Most Read