Range of emotions over OCP in South Langley, Brookswood

A sizeable crowd turned out to see plans for Brookswood’s redevelopment at an open house held Wednesday evening at the local high school.

Langley Township hosted the event, which comes before a public hearing and the final votes on whether or not to move forward with a new neighbourhood plan for the area.

The new plan would increase density in some areas of Brookswood, a community which has developed slowly since the 1960s from farmland into a suburban community.

The Township is now considering densification of some areas of the neighbourhood, from a population of approximately 13,500 people now, adding almost 30,0000 people over the next 30 years.

That would bring the population of Brookswood up to about 42,000, with densification around major roads like 200th Street, 208th, and at major intersections from 40th Avenue down to 24th Avenue on 200th .

Residents had views that ranged from positive to cautious.

Longtime resident Basil Statia said he was happy with the level of density on display.

“I think for the sake of the community, development is necessary in order to bring the area of Brookswood more up to date,” said Statia.

The French family was worried that the planned density might not be the density Brookswood gets.

“I’m not sure what we’re seeing is what will be actual fact,” said Sheila French.

“The developers always want to go to maximum density,” said her husband Al French.

They would prefer to see Walnut Grove or Murrayville used as models, with kid-friendly cul-de-sacs, said Al.

As at a recent neighbourhood meeting about the future of the nearby Griffith neighbourhood, some residents are extremely concerned.

Many worried that the area would be turned into another Willoughby, the fast growing and dense neighbourhood north of Langley City.

A petition on change.org opposes the current plans, saying they will turn Brookswood and Fernridge into “a crowded urban wasteland of row housing and condos just like so many other communities in the Lower Mainland.”

“It seems the Township doesn’t care about keeping our community a beautiful place to live, where people can own larger properties with big trees, they just care about squeezing as many people (and as many tax dollars) out of the land as they possibly can,” reads the petition.

A public hearing on the Brookswood-Fernridge plan is expected soon, once the Township council has heard back about the input from the open house.

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