Michelle Sparrow 20 Q for Langley Township (expanded only)

 

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

Don’t Know. It would have to be the right density for Brookswood and Fernridge, we are a community of communities and we must preserve what makes each community unique, there is no one solution that fits all, this must be a plan which is right for the area. The new OCP process must be collaborative and my hope is the community will come out and help shape the future of the Brookswood area. We also need to evaluate the timing of when and how this development moves forward, as I speak of in Question 2; I believe the creation of a Development Phasing Strategy will be key moving forward for all areas of our community.  

 

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

Yes. I believe this coming term Council will need to step back and address the situation in Willoughby. As a Council we need look at what tools we could use to address the rapid growth of our community. One way I think we can address this is by creating a Development Phasing Strategy. This has been done in other Provinces and is a model which we could follow. The Niagara region has a Development Phasing Strategy, which they described as: “The phasing strategy is an implementation tool, the objective of which is to assist in the management of  growth in Urban Areas, including Designated Greenfield Areas and Built Up Areas, to appropriately plan for orderly and logical urban development in a manner which: a) recognizes differing development opportunities across the Region; b) supports policy goals for sustainable and complete communities; and c) maximizes Regional and local servicing and infrastructure capacity and investment.” This type of tool is a critical part of the planning process, phasing is something we currently don’t plan for, but it could change the way we develop the community as a whole. The objective of building complete communities and achieving sustainable urban growth will be achieved, if we ensure the growth occurs in an orderly fashion, honours the existing urban fabric, and is in keeping with regional infrastructure plans and constraints.  I believe a Development Phasing Strategy will be a valuable tool in achieving those goals.

 

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

No. It has been made clear from the recent news stories and decisions of the Province that school funding will be even more difficult for the school district to obtain moving forward. We need to create a plan in cooperation with the School District which will see us be a strong united voice to petition the Province for more school infrastructure and to ensure it is obtainable for local school districts.  The theory that more growth equals more schools funding is clearly not working to adequately address the needs of the growth in the Willoughby area. We need a clear plan of how we can assist and support the School District in accessing this funding. 

 

7. Would you support increasing property taxes to fund transit?

No. In my opinion increasing property taxes is not the best solution to our transit funding, I would be much more supportive of an option which has a direct link to driving and transit use, such as a small toll on all of our local bridges or time of day road pricing, these have a twofold effect of collecting funds while also changing driving habits which is more effective in the long run. 

 

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

Yes. I think trees as well as the environment should be addressed in all OCP’s across our community. The specifics of such would have to be determined but I do feel it should be represented in our community plans.

 

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

Yes. We need to ensure our community accommodates the demand for low-income housing and to ensure we have a wide range of housing options.

 

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

Yes. Building green infrastructure is important for all communities as we move forward, this is the future and we must plan our communities for it.  

 

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

Yes, but only in the appropriate areas. I also go back to my comments in Question 2, as I believe a Development Phasing Strategy will be key moving forward, especially as we deal with these higher density developments.  

 

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

Yes. This is a key objective for me in the next term; we need to work to see shovels in the ground and see built a project that will benefit Aldergrove and the community as a whole. 

 

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

No. In the last three years, I can think of five notable large urban developments which were approved on agricultural lands, this is an alarming trend. Whether the lands still remain in the ALR with their approval for urban development or it was removed outright, is just semantics, and more so in my opinion an indicator of a large loophole in respects to the ALC’s decision making process. The fact that our agricultural lands are being allowed to be developed with urban developments is in my opinion, one of the biggest threats to our community and to what makes Langley Township such a unique place to live. 

 

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

Yes. Unfortunately in 2006, when the TOL Fire Department transitioned to fulltime fire fighters it was staffed with insufficient members to meet WCB and NFPA standards and it has been a game of catch up ever since. This needs to be addressed for the safely of our residents as well as the members of the Fire Department. 

 

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

Don’t Know. There would have to be an independent study completed on the issue to determine the positives and negatives to such a large decision. Ultimately the decision would come down to a referendum by both the City and Langley Township residents.

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