Q1: 20 Questions for Langley Township Council candidates

Jack Froese (for MAYOR)  â€“ Don’t know. The revised Brookswood/Fernridge OCP, if Council determines that it should proceed, should contain density and features that will be determined by the public following extensive consultation.

Rick Green (for MAYOR) – A NEW OCP should only be allowed after a NEW Community Based Planning Model is created through collaboration with the community. The Community must play a very active role in this process. 

Petrina Arnason – Don’t Know. The failed Brookswood/Fernridge OCP draft amendments highlighted a deep division between residents wishing to maintain the integrity and scale of their semi-rural community and those wishing to add more density to accommodate more housing and commerce.  The interests of the existing community are paramount and the community values of the existing residents and the environmental integrity of the local forests and aquifer need to play a key role in future consultation regarding any changes that may occur. More information and dialogue is necessary to ensure that any additional density that may be considered will not be at the cost of the livability of this very special area and that the unique character of these communities will not be irreparably harmed. 

Solon Bucholz – YES. Development and growth are essential; however, how we plan and execute this development will be the key to a sustainable community. Unbridled development without consensus led and well thought out planning is the issue, not whether to stop development completely. Therefore, during the planning process, considerable input needs to be obtained by not only the Brookswood residents but also the community as a whole. With Brookswood’s larger lots and tall trees, it is a unique community that long term residents call home. For these reasons, well planned infrastructure is vital to preserve its unique qualities.

David Davis – Yes. We are going to have to. In certain areas in the new OCP, there will be room for increased density however, it must be designed with public input and considering what infrastructure will support it.

Bev Dornan – Yes. The area needs a new OCP not only to allow for planned development, as this area has been scheduled to be planned since the late 1970’s, but we need to plan for housing needs for the next 30 years and beyond.  We need housing choices for all, and we need to make sure we have affordable choices as well as the larger single family homes.  Growth is coming to Langley and we need to plan responsibly for this growth.

Zoshia Ettenberg – I don’t know. I think it is too soon for me to answer that question. We need to develop a system to encourage community input from all the stakeholders as well as the professionals especially on the impact to the aquifer.

Steve Ferguson – Yes, only under the structure of new community and resident involvement in the planning process. Protection of Environmentally sensitive areas, watersheds, and groundwater, amongst other things should also be taken into consideration. Density issues and fazing with important well planned traffic and transit items must also be addressed. Future Schools, Parks, and Commercial areas must be equally examined!

Charlie Fox – Unsure, the new OCP will be determined by a public input process which has yet to be defined. The public has spoken and want a greater say and I can agree with that. The present OCP (completed in 1987) calls for a population of 37,000 people in the Brookswood area. If public input says that is sufficient then we must give that consideration.

Mel Kositsky – Yes. Any new OCP for south Langley will allow for some increased density, otherwise why would you do one. The existing plan allows for some development now but there is a desire by some people to have much higher densities. There is an opportunity now to create a most livable and sustainable community by exploring the best models of community development and introducing those concepts to Brookswood and Fernridge. We can learn from what happened with developments in Clayton, Willoughby south Surrey and other areas and make sure we don’t introduce the same challenges here. Langley Township is a very desirable area to live in because of its unique rural-urban blend. That is why people want to move here – it is different than other more urban places.

Clint Lee – Yes, but we have to be very careful where we can add density, how much density and when can we add density so that the needs of the residents are met with the smallest environmental impact to its special ecosystem.

Patricia Lessard – YES, I believe that Council should strike a committee to work with planners on any future OCP’s.  The committee could be made up of residents, business owners, and a representative of the school district, council, etc… who will provide input into the vibrant exciting community that residents want!  Sustainable, balanced development is what is needed!

Bob Long – Yes, but how much density is the question – perhaps larger lots are more suitable for parts of Brookswood but density is likely required in the village centre – the revised plan needs to be a top priority for the new council with lots of public input *

Jackie Mandzak – No. I stand behind my statements that each area of the Township is unique and should grow according to its history and character.  Brookswood and Fernridge are suburban/semi-rural communities.  The reason that people want to live there is because of the current density. While it is not unreasonable to expect growth in the area, the way in which that growth occurs should be in line with the current character of Brookswood/Fernridge.  Each area of the Township does not have to be urbanized. The Township would be better served by embracing the diversity of all of the communities and working with them to enhance that diversity creating an overall plan that makes the Township of Langley stand out in the Metro Vancouver/Fraser Valley area.  

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

Scott Nichols – No. “Density” will be a destructive force in the Brookswood/Fernridge community. As Brookswood/Fernridge develops, it should retain the community feeling that it has. 

Angie Quaale – I don’t know. The type & scope of development in the Brookswood/Fernridge area needs to be decided on by the community. All of the stakeholders need to come together with the Township to create an Official Community Plan (OCP) that everyone can live with. A new OCP needs to be built around community feedback and participation. As a community, we need to work to strike a balance between agriculture, commercial and residential. All three of those components are incredibly important to the future of our community and we must respect the importance of each of them.  In order to maintain the high quality of life we already enjoy here in Langley we need to support diversity in our development plans, prioritize public safety and protect the environment.  First and foremost, we can’t put the interest of one group ahead of another. 

Kim Richter – DON’T KNOW. The residents of Brookswood/Fernridge need to have a much more active and open role in the development of a new OCP for the area. Brookswood/Fernridge is a unique community and its uniqueness should not be sacrificed to Willoughby-type densities unless the existing community predominantly agrees with it. Only 3% of all of the land in Langley Township is home to coniferous forests. Approximately 50% of these important forests are located in Brookswood/Fernridge. If we allow clear-cutting in Brookswood/Fernridge in order to accommodate high density Willoughby-type development, then our community will lose half of the coniferous forests that we currently have and enjoy for natural beauty, wildlife and air quality. Loss of this habitat will also have a significant and negative impact on the shallow, unconfined Brookswood aquifer. In my opinion, the loss of these forests will permanently and irrevocably change the character of Brookswood/Fernridge. I think we “need to leave the ‘wood’ in Brookswood” but all the area residents deserve the final say on this.

Kerri Ross – I could be with the right combination of infrastructure and community input. I encourage the community to participate in the creation of a plan that is liveable for the residents there now and the residents that will be there in the future.  

Michelle Sparrow – 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.  

Blair Whitmarsh – Yes. The management of new population growth is one of the primary issues facing the Township of Langley now and over the next 20-25 years.  It is crucial that we have OCP’s that strategically and intelligently accommodate the expected growth.  It is critical that we create a new OCP for Brookswood and Fernridge that manages growth at the same time as protecting the environment, property values, and quality of life.  This will only come through effective public consulation, expert opinion, and a Township Council capable of balancing the needs of the community.  Increased population brings many services and benefits to a community but we must be careful that we manage that growth in a sustainable way.

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