I recently received a notice from the Township about an open house for the plan for destruction by developers of the next area of Willoughby.
First, the Township persists in calling this area the â€œLatimer Neighbourhood,â€ after the name of a Surrey pioneer. I guess the Township wants to keep up with Langley School Boardâ€™s record of completely ignoring Willoughby pioneer names for the new schools they are building here.
There are several points listed on the notice of what they want to provide. One is for the â€œnecessary commercial support servicesâ€ for the neighbourhood. Of course they are not necessary, as there are plenty of commercial support services available in Walnut Grove, the new Willoughby Town Centre, and along 72nd Avenue.
Then it mentions â€œpreservation of open space.â€ That one had me choking on my orange juice!
How does building rows of army barracks â€“ sorry, town houses â€“ preserve open space? The best way for that is to just leave the area alone.
They also are concerned about the areaâ€™s natural beauty. Well, the developers know how to handle that: they bulldoze houses with character, some of which have been in the area since the 1930s and â€™40s, and clear-cut pioneer orchards, some of which contain fruit trees of varieties that are becoming rarer by the day.
They will also clear-cut stands of trees that have to be close to a 100 years old, so they can put up rows of look-alike houses that are, as the notice says, are of â€œhigh quality design and architecture.â€
My feelings about the Latimer Neighbourhood Plan, in the words of the great Groucho Marx, are, â€œWhatever it is, Iâ€™m against it.â€
Brian Johnson, Willoughby