Local environmentalists are trying to get out in front of an expected plan to develop some of the last wooded areas of the Gloucester Industrial Park in northeast Langley.
On Monday, Bob Puls of West Creek Awareness spoke to the Langley Township council about the future of about 100 acres of wooded and wetland area in the middle of the industrial zone.
“It is still a wildlife corridor, but if they go ahead with their plans it’ll be completely cut off,” Puls said.
The area is environmentally important because it’s the headwaters of West Creek, which runs north through Glen Valley.
Adding more development without proper stormwater management could cause major issues with erosion and flooding downstream, said Puls. That would be bad for both the environment and farmers.
Puls asked that a moratorium on further development be placed on the land until a stormwater plan is in place.
The undeveloped areas are a holdover from early on in the development of the Gloucester Industrial Park.
The area in the middle of the park was originally intended to become a golf course.
That plan was essentially abandoned years ago, and several pieces of the land have already been developed over the years.
One chunk of land that won’t be developed is a heritage home smack dab in the middle of the area, the Leaf House.
Owner Ted Lightfoot looks out from his back yard across the existing water retention areas that have formed a wetland, and towards the last of the local woods.
He said deer, coyote, great blue and green herons and red-legged frogs all live in the area.
Puls added that migratory birds stop in the area, as it’s still good habitat.
The most important thing the Township needs to do before any more development is to develop a full stormwater plan, Puls said.
Mayor Jack Froese said that while there is an application for the land making its way through the Township bureaucracy, it hasn’t reached the council yet.
He noted that all the land in the area can’t be developed because of stream setback rules.
There has been a growing demand for new industrial land around the region.
“I would say industrial land throughout Metro Vancouver is in short supply,” Froese said.
As for the water issues, Froese said it was a high priority for the council.