Martin Allen was one of more than 25 people who spoke in the first phase of Monday’s public hearing.

Speakers split on suburban Langley project

Brookswood’s new developments are still drawing controversy.

The question of how Brookswood will develop was still on the minds of many at a lengthy public hearing Monday in Langley Township council chambers.

Two projects received a mixed response at a public hearing, while another was voted down by the council.

The two back to back public hearings lasted more than two hours for two developments near 205th Street of 40 and 43 lots each. Both are planned for 7,000 square foot lots.

“These plans are certainly not like another Willoughby,” said Duncan Morrison, one of the supporters of the project.

Supporters pointed out that the developments are within the existing plan, and have no high density.

“I’m still against the development at this time,” said Laura Warren.

She agreed that 7,000 square foot lots are the best the area is likely to see, but raised concerns about the capacity of local schools if development continues.

The school district estimated another 41 students would attend Noel Booth Elementary from this project, and 21 Brookswood Secondary, Warren said.

“It’s basically a clearcut, 95 per cent of the trees will be gone,” said Martin Allen, on the first of the two projects. Protecting trees has been one of the major issues surrounding Brookswood development.

Many speakers were not entirely for or against the project.

“I’ve got mixed feelings about the whole thing,” said Peter Minter.

He said the density was a good compromise, but worried the Township was moving too fast, and wondered about the lack of a completed community plan.

Cameron Gair, who pushed for the first official community plan process on behalf of a group of Fernridge landowners, said the new projects were similar to ones already in place.

“The applications that are before you tonight are the logical extension of Cedar Crest,” he said.

Before the public had its say on two proposed housing developments near 205th Street, the council turned down another project.

The 76-lot subdivision was proposed for the 19600 to 19800 block of 32nd Avenue.

The lots would have been 7,000 square feet, the minimum allowed under the still-in-force 1987 Brookswood Community Plan.

However, councillors had problems with some aspects of the area design.

Councillor Blair Whitmarsh objected to a laneway that would run behind some of the houses, saying it didn’t fit in with Brookswood.

Coun. Angie Quaale wanted to make sure that some of the houses along that section of the development didn’t have secondary suites. With laneway entry, she was worried secondary suites and extra tenants would cause serious parking problems near 32nd Avenue.

The planned removal of more than 1,300 trees from the site to allow construction was brought up by Coun. Kim Richter.

Eventually, the council voted five to four against the project, with Richter, Whitmarsh, Michelle Sparrow, David Davis, and Petrina Arnason opposed.

The public hearing had a delayed start as the council waited for RCMP to remove a local resident from the chambers.

This is the third time in the last three public hearings that a local man has been removed by police. He has disrupted meetings by interrupting council, accusing them of acting criminally, and speaking at length on multiple public hearing topics. He has been insistent that meetings are being held on the wrong nights.

The man spoke on two rezoning issues, but then tried to speak again on a rezoning for a dog daycare. After arguing with Mayor Jack Froese over whether he was speaking on topic, and about being disrespectful to council, the meeting was adjourned for about 15 minutes until police arrived.

Three Mounties escorted the man out of the chambers. He was not handcuffed.

 

 

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