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Coulter Berry construction carries on in midst of legal action
Construction on the Coulter Berry development in Fort Langley is well underway, while a court challenge to stop that building from going up presses on.
There was a brief court appearance in B.C. Supreme Court in Chilliwack on Monday to discuss a hearing date. The society of Fort Langley Residents for Sustainable Development is suing Langley Township.
Three days are being set aside to hear the case, which may not be heard until the New Year.
The hope is that the case will be heard earlier but so far, the case is set for January 2014, confirmed Township lawyer Dan Bennett.
The Township had earlier suggested the case be thrown out. The society was formed May 23, and initially had just a few members. The lawyer for the society responded by filing a motion to add three electors as petitioners, one of them being Diane Morrison, the owner of Wendel’s café and bookstore, a business located across the street from Coulter Berry.
“In the circumstances we have agreed to consent to the addition of the petitioners and not proceed with the standing challenge,” said Bennett.
In the petition to the court, the society maintains that the Coutler Berry building violates the Township heritage protection regulations because it is too big.
At 43.5 feet tall and three storeys high, the building is 14.5 feet over the height limit of 29 feet and two storeys. The property is located within the Heritage Conservation Area of the Fort Langley Community Plan. A heritage alteration permit was approved by council for the increased size of the development.
In a written response, filed Aug. 2, the Township lawyer says the Langley Township council has a “broad discretion” to approve variances from heritage guidelines.
Coulter Berry developer Eric Woodward, a Fort Langley resident himself, told The Times earlier that he believes the lawsuit, headed by the Wendel’s cafe owner, is to prevent additional competition in Fort Langley.
The We Support Coulter Berry has 640 likes on Facebook. The page shows that excavation of the site is well underway.