Fort Langley developer hosts “unfiltered” Q&A

Eric Woodward will talk about his boarded up downtown Fort properties.

Fort Langley developer Eric Woodward will talk to the public in a question and answer session as the stalemate between landowner and Township council drags on.

“We think it is finally time to get some facts on the table, review and explain recent events, outline why quality applications have been withdrawn, and review a possible path forward,” Woodward recently wrote on his Facebook page.

He said a “candid interview with unfiltered questions” will be held at the Chief Sepass Theatre in Fort Langley on Monday, April 30 at 7 p.m. Anyone may come and ask any question they like, Woodward said.

Woodward has been locked in a dispute with Langley Township over several of his Fort Langley properties since last year.

His firm, Statewood Properties, had planned to redevelop several sites in downtown Fort Langley, including one large site composed of several lots where a structure was proposed including a boutique three-storey hotel.

Woodward’s proposal for that site sparked a lengthy argument between Statewood and the Township over whether a lane is required for emergency access, garbage pickup, and loading at the planned buildings.

Arguing that the Township’s planning department was intransigent, Woodward announced he would mothball the sites. Several buildings, including vacant homes and empty storefronts, have been boarded up and Woodward has withdrawn his development permit applications.

Township Mayor Jack Froese has noted that Woodward is entitled to leave his buildings vacant if he so chooses, but said the Township was willing to work with Woodward.

The situation has drawn concern from the business community, with the BIA worrying about the possible impact of boarded up stores heading into the tourist season.

“We need to find a path forward. We need to understand what the problem is,” said Woodward.

Tickets can be obtained by contacting Woodward at eric@ericwoodward.com.

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