Metro Vancouver takes Langley Township back to court

Langley Township Mayor Jack Froese had harsh words for Metro Vancouver’s decision to appeal a ruling on the University District lands.

“I think it’s ridiculous,” Froese said of the appeal.

Metro Vancouver had petitioned the courts and attempted to overrule Langley Township on the planned University District and Wall property development around Glover Road and Labonte Avenue.

The university district and nearby housing were intended to accommodate future growth of the private university, and the Township had rezoned some lands in the area to Residential Institution. 

Metro Vancouver argued that the plan was an assault on the region’s Green Zone, and the densely packed housing lots nearby amounted to urban development. Metro said the development was not in keeping with the regional context statement signed in 1998. 

The Township argued that it had the right to do its own land planning.

In March, Justice Neena Sharma dismissed Metro’s petition, clearing the way for the University District and Wall property development to move forward. Approvals for the Wall development had already come from the Agricultural Land Commission.

Now the plan is going back to the B.C. Court of Appeal, something Froese said will be a waste of taxpayer money.

“There’s nothing to settle, we won,” said Froese. “The judge was very clear.”

The Township spent about $50,000 in legal costs already defending itself, Froese said. The Metro court costs also come from taxpayers, including those in Langley, he noted.

The case is not likely to come before a judge until late this year, or possibly early in 2015, Froese said.

As of yet, he said there is no injunction, so if TWU or the Wall family want to begin developing or making plans for their land, there is nothing to stop them now, Froese said.

Metro Vancouver did not have an official response, other than to note that the Board of Directors disagreed with the ruling.

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