The Township of Langley could start developing its own lands for extra revenue. (Langley Advance files)

Langley Township ponders developing land assets

The Township may become its own developer to find a new revenue stream.

Langley Township may become a developer to find a new source of funding.

Langley Township is facing an increasing bill for aging infrastructure, from roads to rail crossings to rec centres.

At a budget planning meeting on Nov. 20, Township staff suggested the local government develop some of its land assets.

Township administrator Mark Bakken said they are considering a “society model” in which the Township has more direct influence over the type of projects built, compared to a more arms length model used by Surrey or other communities.

That would mean that projects could address social needs as well as generating revenue. They could create seniors or low income housing, for example.

There are a few sites owned by the Township that could be used for such a development.

The Aldergrove ice arena is to be replaced with a new civic centre, and the land could be redeveloped.

However, some Township-owned land is in rural areas and isn’t suitable for development.

Bakken said the idea isn’t for the money generated to go straight into general revenue.

“Our preference would be to come up with a specific linkage,” Bakken said.

For example, a project in Brookswood could have its revenue dedicated to upgrading the George Preston Recreation Centre. A project in Aldergrove could be tied to projects there.

A plan will be brought to the Township council in mid to late 2018, Bakken said, if council gives the go-ahead.

The plan is similar to a plan for a “land bank” floated under previous mayor Rick Green.

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