Monday, November 05, 2007

Vecchiato's Voice - High Rises In Langley But No Trade Offs! - How Come?

With the distribution of the Gateway to Global Warming paper, another avenue has opened up that may prove to be a crucial audience--students. A secondary school instructor asked for copies for his class. It is up to them to agree and find refutation, or disagree and find their argument.

The information present in the Gateway paper presents a good case for not expanding Deltaport nor continuing with Gateway, with specific focus on the environmental damage the SFPR would cause and the twinning without putting rapid transit first will only result in further congestion (build it and they will come). Because Gate 11-12 students will be voting in the next few years, arming them to make informed choices may knock them out of potential apathy.
A proposed bylaw was submitted to Langley Township Council to consider mid to high-rises along the 200th Street corridor. I wrote to mayor and council, stating that I support high density as outlined in the bylaw on the condition that bonus density applies as well. Bonus density is a development tool allowed within the parameters of the BC Municipalities Act. Developers are allowed to build higher density subdivisions starting at over 6 houses per acre, and green space is traded for higher density; the more units constructed, the more green space received by the municipality and its taxpayers.

I was informed that bonus density will not apply to the particular by-law. My question is: Why not? A mid to high-rise corridor (with underground parking) fronting onto 200th and backing on to a green belt which would separate traditional development would not only improve the quality of life and absorb auto emissions, but it would also allow a reasonable corridor for the remaining wildlife to travel or burrow in. The iss ue of retention of natural features and incorporating development within such setting seems to be ignored.
Delegations and letters to my municipal representatives have too often resulted in no response. When I emailed my opinion to mayor and council, I did receive 3 replies from council members: Councilor Charlie Fox, Councilor Jordan Bateman, and Councilor Kim Richter.

Cathleen Vecchiato
Fraser Valley Conservation Coalition

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