Letter: Williams never intended to stay as is

Dear Editor,

In response to the letter published in your paper on Thursday, July 21 [Williams project all about money, Community Forum, Advance].

The Williams area is the last of the neighbourhoods to design its neighbourhood concept plan, which will complete the whole Willoughby area that has been considered for development since 1998.

Many of the residents (approximately 90 per cent) 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 two acres).

The area north of 80th Avenue is potentially designated as business/industrial/commercial and will be a good complement for the future development of jobs in the area.

As the 216th St./Highway 1 interchange develops over the next three 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 who 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 who 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 Fort Langley to name but a few areas.

One can be 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 to 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 five to 10 years, as the Yorkson area has been fully built out to the immediate west (212st Street) 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.

Holly Stermshnig, Willoughby

(Williams area)



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