Year in Review: Township tackled taxes, growth, and pot

Langley Township’s council tackled a wide range of issues in virtually every neighbourhood across the community in 2014.

In January the council made waves by approving a 61-unit housing subdivision on municipal land in Aldergrove. Some neighbours had called for a reduction in size of the development to preserve a wooded area.

A months-long battle over the Brookswood OCP took up much of the early part of the year, before the plan was scuttled by council, which vowed to start fresh.

In February and March, the Township held another series of meetings and hearings to approve the re-start of reconstruction on the Coulter Berry Building in Fort Langley, a three-storey mixed-use building at the corner of Glover Road and Mavis Avenue.

The construction of the building had been held up by a court case launched by local citizens who felt it had been approved inappropriately. The Township went back to the drawing board after a court ruling against them and launched a full rezoning process. The majority voted in favour and construction began again shortly afterwards.

In July, the Township saw a setback for its plans to only allow medical marijuana to be grown on industrial land. That rule was overturned by the provincial Minister of Agriculture.

Issues outside the direct control of the council were also brought up frequently, as residents in Willoughby asked for better planning for schools, and TransLink’s money woes and lack of bus service in Langley were recurring themes.

Towards the end of the year, Mayor Jack Froese voted in favour of the TransLink Mayors’ Council’s plan for a 0.5 per cent sales tax in Metro Vancouver. The tax is intended to pay for a wide-scale improvement in transit.

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