Brookswood is a quiet suburb in the classic sense. Unfortunately, it’s uncertain what kind of a future exists for that sort of community.
Langley Township council is currently taking a two-pronged approach to the region. To satisfy the residents angry about the last, failed, community plan, a new plan will be created. In about a year and a half.
To satisfy the landowners, development can take place in the meantime according to the old plan, which means low-density single family housing.
There are already 245 new lots proposed over five developments. Hundreds more seem likely, as long as the housing market remains red hot, all but guaranteeing good profits for local landowners.
Residents of Brookswood have rejected the model of medium- to high-density that defines Willoughby’s growth. That’s their right. But Willoughby, for all its severe growing pains, has advantages Brookswood will have difficulty matching. Willoughby already has a park and ride and growing commercial cores, as well as access to Highway One.
Brookswood is almost entirely a car-dependent community. At 13,200 residents, that’s not too bad. At 20,000, or 30,000 residents, it will cause a lot of problems.
It’s unclear what the solution is. Higher density and massive growth was rejected by the residents. Steady expansion will create a suburbia lacking in services and transit, yet will cause some of the same pressures on schools, roads, and parking that Willoughby faces.
Doing nothing would preserve the acreages and trees – but is not likely an option.
Brookswood needs a successful update to its community plan, and it needs it before development goes much further.