I would like to reply to the above letter published in your paper dated Thursday July 21.2016.
The Williams Area is the last of the neighborhoods to design its neighborhood concept plan, which will complete the whole Willoughby area that has been considered for development since 1998.
Many of the residents (approximately 90 %) have agreed to and signed onto a concept that would provide greater density in the southern portion of the Williams area (the residential area).
We are all hoping this will provide more affordable housing options than the current zoning of SR -2 (one house per 2 acres)The area north of 80 ave is potentially designated as business/industrial/commercial and will be a good compliment for the future development of jobs in the area.
As the 216 St/Highway 1 interchange develops over the next 3 years there will be excellent access to the freeway and to the other parts of greater Vancouver and the Fraser Valley from the whole of the Willoughby area.
As for people that had the means to afford to buy acreage in the Williams Area in more recent years (yes, development property values have been high for quite a few years)… they should have been educated to realize that this was a designated development area.
This area was never intended to stay as it is… (since the 1998 OCP was adopted)
People that presumed that the area would stay as it is forever were misinformed.
If people wish the ongoing rural/estate lifestyle and have the wealth to afford it…there are many areas with lovely homes and properties in the ALR areas of Langley quite near to Willoughby…Forest Knolls, Salmon River and Ft Langley to name but a few areas.
One can be fairly confident that living on ALR land will provide a rural lifestyle into the indefinite future…with no development on one’s doorstep.
Many of the residential landowners in the Williams Area have lived here for 10-30 plus years and yes, want to see their properties used for greater density, more affordable housing and provide them an exit plan from an area that has dramatically changed from its rural character and quietness over the last 5-10 years, as the Yorkson area has been fully built out to the immediate west (212 st) of the Williams boundary.
With that development we now have a more walkable, resource filled (schools and parks) area near to us to utilize and we believe that the Williams Area will offer the same and even more amenities.(commercial outlets and jobs)
The whole of Willoughby has changed, many things for the better, as the OCP has been realized.
The majority of landowners in the area are ready to embrace that change and live here in their homes as long as they want to, but also want to be able to make the decision to leave when they desire to do so.
All of the Williams Area neighborhood meetings and open houses have been well attended by resident landowners of the area and they have made their will widely know regarding increasing the density of the residential area.
In all the concept drawings there has been accommodation for school and park sites and greenways, as required.
If there are people willing to assemble land for the business park/industrial area they also have a right to put forth their wishes…but the conglomerate of people expressing their desires at meetings has been very broad based…it is not just the largest stakeholder that has an opinion or influence.
As for the letter writer, Ms Cicuto had the good fortune to purchase acreage in the Williams Area quite recently, even though the whole Willoughby area has been developing for many years and land values have been increasing for years also.
Ms Cicuto certainly has the right and opportunity to live on her property as she wishes, as long as she wishes to do so. No one will force her off her land through fear and pressure tactics.
The other resident landowners in the Williams Area also have the right to remain on their land as long as they wish or sell their land at a time that suits them.
Holly Stermshnig, Willoughby (Williams Area)