Solon Bucholz 20 Q for Langley Township councillor (expanded answers only)

 

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

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.

 

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

YES. Stopping development is not a solution, as growth is essential to keep the services and the community thriving. However, at this time we are so far behind on basic services to support current (and approved) development that Willoughby and its residents are on the verge of a crisis. Current council’s hasty stamp approvals on Willoughby development are devaluing the neighbourhood due to deficient planning.

 

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

NO. There is a clear disconnect on the predicted amount of students per household versus reality. Evidently, there is no real communication or research on pressing demand for schools in our community. The council, management and the Langley school district are all operating on unrealistic numbers or disregarding real demand which is creating strain on the education system and resulting in overcrowded schools. 

 

4. Would you vote in favour of a tax increase? 

YES. I think all communities must find a balance between appropriate tax rates and community infrastructure. My concern with tax rates is only when the local government lacks accountability with their spending while neglecting the needs of the community. Communities are built not with 4 walls and a roof but with planning, community services, easy transportation, good schools and a passion for each other’s needs and wellbeing which are paid for the most part through property taxes.

 

6. Would you support road pricing to fund transit? 

NOT SURE. I would need to study this further with adequate input from Translink, the township management and the community in order to weigh the benefits and disadvantages of this option to raise money for an adequate transit solution.

 

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

YES. Yet, Township residents are already contributing a substantial portion to Translink and are receiving little in return. Being taxed more does not ensure we will actually receive anything in return. I would only support this if the increased tax were solidified with a clear, concise and approved action plan to improve transportation in the township. Not just empty promises.

 

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

YES, with 10% of our residents considered to be low income, there is a clear need to support this initiative to ensure a balanced community that supports all of its residents.

 

12. Should the Township open sales of municipal lands to public scrutiny in advance? 

YES. The past few years have shown us that the current council and mayor have little regard for the community’s input when it comes to municipal land sales. If it were not for informed and concerned citizens like me, lands such as the site of the Mclellan Park would already be sold and we would have no options to save them after the fact. We are already losing lands of significant ecological value which make our community so unique. The sale of municipal lands needs to be open to public scrutiny in advance and if deemed worthy of disposing, we need to ensure the township is also marketing them effectively and for maximum value.

 

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

YES.  To attain this, the growing budget needs to be readdressed and the cost and size needs to be brought back for public input.

 

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

NO. We are seeing an increasing trend with the existing council to spot zone in the ALR, as demonstrated with the controversial Wall Development, against the wishes of the community and the Agricultural Advisory committee. This not only permanently destroys our valuable farmland but puts tremendous strain on the aquifers and infrastructure that support these rural areas. The July 2013 amendment to the rural community plan now allows proposals for cluster housing on ALR further demonstrating the townships lack of regard to protect lands in the ALR. This is disappointing with 40% of the total farming receipts in the GVRD coming from township farmland, and thousands of residents depending on employment from these farms. The importance of preserving these lands is a clear priority for the current and future residents of the township of Langley.

 

19. Should more RCMP officers be hired, even if it means a tax increase? 

DON’T KNOW. Our existing members are doing an excellent job. I believe we need to focus more on community education, crime prevention, and social support services, than on enforcement and incarceration, as a solution to crime in the community. I would like the opportunity to hear from the Police members who may be able to provide me with important information as professionals in their field that would help me better understand the demands for more police officers and the implications this would have on the municipal budget.

 

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

NOT SURE. There are benefits and negatives to this topic. This is a question that requires a substantial amount of research on behalf of the whole community and me. It also will require community input from both municipalities before any tax dollars should be spent on sending this to a ballot.

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