Letter: Vanishing Vancouver a lesson for Langley

 

Dear Editor,

There is an important situation occurring in “Vanishing Vancouver” at this time. Many large and small old-fashioned buildings are being demolished to make way for palatial homes.

This would appear to some to be wasteful and against environmental and heritage ideals. 

The other concern that we are hearing refers to the destruction of the “past” to make way for the present and future development: the destruction of the old-style house and garden to make way for more efficient modern housing, thus creating a new city scape.

In Fort Langley, we are welcoming development in the village, where “necessity is the mother of invention.”

The old village, with its quaint shops and art galleries, is being changed to accommodate the burgeoning population and many tourists.

However, unique in the history of B.C., it is important that Fort Langley retains the atmosphere of the past as an educational and recreational destination for our future families and visitors.

For these reasons, Langley Township had experts, community planners, and staff work with the community to create an official Community Plan and Heritage Guidelines. To preserve the history for the future, the main area of the village was legally made a heritage-covenanted zone.

To our disappointment, after the plans were rejected as non-conforming by the Township planners and much community input, the council, in its wisdom, voted to allow spot zoning for one building. 

It has created a double standard, as all other builders have conformed to the heritage guidelines and bylaws. 

The Coulter Berry building planned for the corner of Glover Road and Mavis Avenue will be so massive that it will dwarf the community hall, the “Heart of the Village.”

The decision, challenged in Supreme Court, may set a dangerous precedent for the future of this sample of history, the small town that grew up around the fort on the banks of the Fraser River, where our province was established.

If the council does not support its own rules and treat everyone fairly, Fort Langley as we know it will vanish. 

Bays Blackhall, Langley

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