Hundreds of people poured through the Bethel Mennonite Church Wednesday night to have their say on a proposed development 35 years in the making.
Infinity Properties, a Langley builder, is considering expanding the Tall Timbers subdivision, adding more houses to the north and west of the existing lands. Tall Timbers is north of 56th Avenue and west of 240th Street.
The land is bordered by the Salmon River to the north.
Infinity didn’t even have any preliminary sketches or proposed designs at Wednesday’s meeting, which was just to find out what the neighbourhood thinks, said Infinity president Tim Bontkes.
He said the rough plan is for lots of around 1/3 of an acre. That would mean no more than 75 lots on the current buildable land, Bontkes said.
“We’re trying to duplicate Tall Timbers Estates,” Bontkes said.
A plan to expand Tall Timbers on that land was rejected by Township council in the early 1980s. The new plan, if approved, would get its water from the new East Langley water pipeline and would have its own small waste treatment facility.
The plan drew hundreds of people partly because North Otter resident Gloria Stelting advertised it widely, starting a Facebook group called Leave Salmon River Uplands Alone and distributing hundreds of flyers with local realtor Annabel Young.
Stelting is worried that the Township council will be okay with expanding Tall Timbers.
“I think you shouldn’t repeat a mistake of the past,” Stelting said.
Tall Timbers has for a long time been a lone medium-density development surrounded by mostly acreages and small hobby farms.
Stelting said the rest of the area should remain rural, and suggested it be developed under its current RU-1 rural zoning, which would allow perhaps 26 houses.
Young said she doesn’t want another Willoughby in the area.
“They need to have green spaces, they need to look after the Salmon River,” she said of the neighbourhood.
Traffic was a concern for several other people who attended the meeting.
“Anything that gets developed out our way, it means cars,” said Lindy Leclair.
Her husband John said there has already been a lot more traffic in their area due to construction of another nearby development.
Whatever the proposed design for the property, it likely won’t go before council for six months or more.
Bontkes said Infinity will come back to the neighbourhood again in about three months, after it has gone through the feedback received at Wednesday’s meeting.
Dozens of residents filled out comment forms and packed them into a box provided by Infinity.