Our view: Langley neighbourhood right spot for 20-storey facility

A high-rise seniors home could be built in Langley Township and would provide much needed housing.

The first high rise in Langley’s history could start construction within a few years, depending on how the public and council react to plans for a new seniors facility.

Plans for a 20-storey tower – possibly just the first of a small cluster – cleared their first hurdle with Township council Monday night.

If a high rise is going to succeed anywhere, it should work in the small Jericho sub-neighbourhood.

The idea of a high rise seniors home has been planned in the area for years. It’s not in the middle of an existing dense residential area, and its main neighbour across the street is the Langley Events Centre. As a 55-and-older community, it won’t have much impact on local school enrolment.

High rises don’t belong in every neighbourhood of the Langleys. (Anyone attempting to suggest them in Fort Langley or Brookswood should probably put on a crash helmet first.) But adding them to the mix of housing types is a good idea.

In the long run, the population of Metro Vancouver is going to go up. We want to preserve as much green space as we can, while accommodating more people in our community. After a while, even low-rise condos and townhouses won’t be dense enough.

If it’s built, the view from the top floor of the proposed tower will take in a panorama of Langley’s countryside. Residents there will be able to take in the homes of Walnut Grove and Willoughby, and to see the green expanse of the Agricultural Land Reserve in Langley and Surrey.

It’s worth considering how much a few towers can add to our community.

– M.C.

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