Al French is fine with a new OCP for Brookswood and Fernridge, but like many residents he’s worried about it being done right.
French moved to his lot in what is now designated a development area in the neighbourhood in 1987.
“We were concerned about the densities that were proposed then,” French said.
But little development took place for years.
Now the Township is looking to re-start a new OCP process, and has essentially divided Brookswood-Fernridge into two zones.
Existing suburban areas of Brookswood will be left largely alone, while the more rural areas including acreages will be the subject of much of the new planning process approved Monday afternoon.
Two weeks ago, Township council was talking about splitting Brookswood-Fernridge into two halves and only creating an OCP for the Fernridge portion.
The new vote doesn’t officially sever the two communities, but it will focus development mostly in those areas loosely known as Fernridge.
The council gave an approval to a map which divided the area into relatively dense suburban areas and the less dense acreages and rural areas.
The developable areas begin at 36th Avenue between 208th Street and 200th Street, and around 33A Avenue between 200th Street and 196th Stree
East of 208th Street, an arm of the developable area reaches north past 40th Avenue, almost to the boundary between Langley Township and the City.
The last attempt to create a new Brookswood-Fernridge OCP two years ago ended in failure, with significant opposition from local residents worried about density and massive population growth.
Locals also worried about the loss of trees and increased traffic on major routes, crowded schools, and transit issues.
Landowners within parts of the Fernridge area had pushed for, and in large part funded, the project to create a new OCP for the area.
Environmental impacts are what bother French, who has a small artificial lake in his back yard. It’s a kind of barometer for the area’s local shallow aquifer. French believes a plan to protect the water, on which homeowners and farmers depend, should be developed first.
Many residents during the 2014 debate over the first OCP suggested they did want a new plan, to update the 1980s-era documents that govern local development.
The new planning process will cost an estimated $150,000 and take a year to 18 months to complete.
The Township is promising community dialogue including workshops and open houses.
The Township has been working on a new public engagement process to use during the planning.