Kevin Mitchell 20 Q for Langley Township (expanded only)

 

1. Should a new OCP allow increased density in Brookswood and Fernridge?

YES, if it is the will of the  affected community following an extensive and inclusive public input process.

 

2. Should Township council act to slow down development of Willoughby? 

YES.  Currently the Willoughby  community can not absorb additional residents and will require completion of road networks and schools to permit further growth.

 

3. Does the Township do enough to help ensure there are enough schools in developing areas? 

NO.  Willoughby is a perfect example of growth before community infrastructure.

 

4. Would you vote in favour of a tax increase? 

YES, but only it was the only way to deal with the needs of a growing community. I believe in zero base budgeting where tax increases are off the table until all other means of funding and expense reduction are exhausted.  The existing council is too willing to accept staff’s recommendation without tasking staff with the reality that taxpayers cannot take any more tax increases.

 

5. Would you support tolling ALL Metro Vancouver bridges to fund transit?

YES, if the toll was reasonable (say $1.00 Per bridge each way).

 

8. Should a tree protection bylaw be applied to the entire Township?

NO. Trees on private property are the responsibility of the property owner.  If the owner chooses to remove any or all of the trees for  safety or other reasons, they will still be responsible if their actions affect the integrity of the underlying soil. If a landslide or similar event occurred, the landowner would be charged by the affected parties and likely be found responsible for any damages.

 

9. Should developers be required to provide more low-income housing in the Township? 

YES, but with the proviso that developers respond primarily to market demand and return on investment.  The business case for low income housing must be made so the development community is not “penalized” but is rewarded or incentivized for creating this much needed resource.

 

10. Should the Township create more bike lanes and public cycling infrastructure? 

YES, but only in very specific corridors.  Bicycle usage is very seasonal and with the overwhelming demand for private vehicle parking, we have to provide reasonable cycling routes while maintaining sufficient space for pedestrian and vehicular traffic.

 

11. Do you support the construction of high rise developments in Willoughby?

NO. Langley is not the west end of Vancouver or parts of Burnaby.  High rises if any should be limited to the Willowbrook mall area as it can support the density and has many of the required services.  I have spoken with the property manager in charge of Willowbrook mall and she has confirmed high rises are part of their revitalization plan.

 

12. Should the Township open sales of municipal lands to public scrutiny in advance? 

YES.  No land should be offered for sale pending a public hearing and open house opportunity. This land belongs to the residents and they should have a say in its future.

 

13. Should the Township commit to building the Aldergrove rec centre and pool regardless of land sales? 

YES.  Land sales should never have been the funding vehicle for the facility.  Instead, similar funds can easily be raised by simply enforcing the illegal suite bylaw and collecting $7 – 8 million dollars every year from the $550 annual fee levied on the estimated 12,000 – 16,000 illegal suites currently operating in the township.  These funds, properly invested will easily pay off the $35 – $50 million dollar estimated cost of the facility within 10 years.

 

14. Should the Township ensure that roads, sidewalks, and crosswalks are in place prior to the completion of new developments? 

YES.  The current idea that developers will complete this infrastructure once all the development in a particular area is complete is exactly why a senior was killed crossing an unfinished section of 72nd Avenue this past September. How many tragedies need to occur before this council wakes up and makes this issue a priority?

 

15. Is the Township doing enough to protect agricultural land? 

NO.  Recent examples of the wall property and tuscan farm prove the current council, with notable exceptions are willing to “spot zone” away our rural heritage and agricultural viability.

 

16. Does the Township need more parks? 

YES,  they are required to provide open spaces for residents and provide buffer zones.

 

17. Does the Township need more sports and recreation facilities? 

NO, with the exception of the Aldergrove complex and whatever Brookswood/Fernridge will require following the approval of a new OCP.

 

18. Should more firefighters be hired, even if it means a tax increase? 

NO.  The issue today is that the existing full time firefighters have been without a contract for five years. This must get resolved first before any additional firefighters are added to the budget.  The on-call program appears to be working well and four of the halls are already full time.

 

19. Should more RCMP officers be hired, even if it means a tax increase? 

NO if it means a tax increase.

 

20. Do you believe Langley Township and City should be amalgamated into one municipality? 

YES, but only if there is a substantial majority (two-thirds or better) in favour from both communities.

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