Letter: Fort Langley open house perplexingly closed

Dear Editor,

I recently attended an invitation-only “open house” for a new development at Mavis and McBride in Fort Langley.

I live in Fort Langley, but I was not invited. None of my neighbours around Fort Langley knew anything about it, so only a handful of people were there.

Is this how open houses are conducted in Langley Township?

It appears the developer got a special list of people to contact from Township planning staff. How is that is acceptable?

Why would the developer go to the trouble of hosting an “open house,” if they don’t want anyone to know about it? It doesn’t seem very “open.” How can you get a feel from the community when it is less than a handful of people?

Perhaps this is why: the proposed development would create 21 new townhouses on half an acre. The OCP permits seven. It will require a change to the OCP that will effectively triple the density in Fort Langley going forward.

It seems like a fairly big change in what is permitted for the zoning of the area. Does this mean future developments will be given the same allowance?

It is concerning to me: 21 units there equates to 40 units per acre, double the typical density of Willoughby, and triple the density permitted.

It is more than triple the density of the brand new McBride Station, a wonderful village-like development perfectly appropriate for Fort Langley.

I am hoping that Fort Langley is not going to become the next Clayton.

Is this really how planning is done in the Township of Langley? Do our planners support it? According to the architect, they do.

What is the justification for tripling the density? I couldn’t get an answer to that question, so I am assuming it must be profit.

In truth, I couldn’t get a lot of concrete answers to a great deal of my questions, which was concerning to me. I encourage you to try your luck finding any information online about it, or anyone’s name on the invitation.

It seems like this development and its ability to bypass our existing zoning is being kept as quiet as possible. How is this happening?

If you want to triple the density of someone else’s neighbourhood, you should engage the community properly and sincerely, not with invitation-only “open houses.”

Council should send a clear message right away that this is not acceptable. We need our council to remain accountable.

We need our Township Planning Department to make its intentions clear to our community, so we are at least made aware of how they plan to shape our city.

Dawn Crawford, Fort Langley

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