I am dismayed at the manner in which the Township of Langley has accelerated the public approval process for the controversial new Coulter Berry proposal in Fort Langley.
It was apparent from Monday eveningâ€™s council meeting that many residents are strongly opposed to the height of the building, in particular.
It was also obvious from commentary at the council table that some councillors are also concerned about the buildingâ€™s height and mass, and how the building fits with the current village scale and aesthetic within the heritage conservation downtown core.
If councilâ€™s intention is to invite the public to participate in the process in a manner that pays more than lip service to â€œpublic consultation,â€ wouldnâ€™t it be reasonable to allow for more time to allow the community to adequately discuss the implications of the precedent-setting project on the future streetscape of Fort Langley?
This is especially so, as the Township has now passed first and second readings of bylaws which will render the application of heritage guidelines, which currently control height and density, moot to the degree that they will be non-binding.
Without the binding application of the guidelines, there is no longer any assurance that buildings in the commercial core will not increase substantially in height and density in coming years and eventually erase the existing eclectic charm of the village core.
I would urge council to consider the consequences of rushing this process, as recent past history has shown that it can be a very costly endeavour when it comes to litigation and public angst.
Letâ€™s take the necessary time to do this right, for the sake of Fort Langley and the Township as a whole.
Petrina Arnason, Langley