The former Quality Inn could become the site of a supportive housing project. (Matthew Claxton/Langley Advance)

Time short to vote on Langley supportive housing project

If the project doesn’t move forward soon, a new council could make the decision.

A proposed supportive housing project might not be considered by Langley Township council until this summer – which could push the project back, even if it is approved.

BC Housing and local partners including Stepping Stone Community Services are backing a project to convert the former Quality Inn hotel near 200th Street and 66th Avenue into a 49-unit housing project.

If approved, it will take in local people who have been living on the streets.

A rezoning is required, and that means several Township council meetings. With summer and an October election coming up, meetings are now in short supply.

“They [BC Housing] are trying to get it before council for June 25,” said Janet Burden, executive director of Stepping Stone.

She admitted with the council getting their first official vote on the project so late in the year, it could postpone a decision.

There are just five council meetings between June 25 and the October 20 civic elections.

To pass a rezoning requires at least four council meetings.

• Council will debate the plan and vote on a first and second reading of the rezoning bylaw

• A public hearing will be held, with input from anyone in the community

• After considering the public input, council votes on third reading at another meeting

• A fourth reading of the bylaw includes the final vote.

There are no council meetings scheduled at all for August, and the Township council has been reluctant in the past to schedule public hearings in July, when some residents may be away.

That is particularly true of controversial issues. Residents around the Langley Meadows and Willoughby Slope area have raised a number of concerns about the project at open house meetings from last fall to this spring, worried about drug use or increased crime linked to the project.

Mayor Jack Froese said it is possible that if the vote is not held soon, it could be up to the next council after the Oct. 20 elections to vote on the matter.

“It could be delayed a bit,” Froese said.

If the project is approved, it won’t open immediately, as the site will still need renovations to convert it from its prior use as a hotel into housing, Burden said.

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