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Updated: Brookswood public hearing wraps up

Cameron Gair, president of the Griffith Neighbourhood Advisory Corporation, defends the owner-financed community development plan for Brookswood/Fernridge at the start of a three-night public hearing on the proposal.  - Dan FERGUSON/Langley Times
Cameron Gair, president of the Griffith Neighbourhood Advisory Corporation, defends the owner-financed community development plan for Brookswood/Fernridge at the start of a three-night public hearing on the proposal.
— image credit: Dan FERGUSON/Langley Times

The last of three evening public meetings on the Brookswood/Fernridge community plan was the longest, wrapping up just before midnight Wednesday night (Mar. 5) at the George Preston Arena.

The last person to speak at the five-hour session was resident Erin Pasternak, making a second appearance before council to outline her objections to the plan, funded by a group of property owners, that would increase housing density around four locations in the semi-rural area.

She was one of several people who spoke more than once.

The Wednesday hearing followed the Tuesday session which ran about four hours, and a Monday meeting which ran about one hour.

The hearings had to be moved to a larger venue at George Preston after an overflow crowd of about 400 people appeared in Township council chambers on the first night, double the number the space is designed to accommodate.

The tally by Township staff shows 143 people spoke during the three public hearings, a figure that counts some people more than once because they spoke more than once.

The majority of speakers opposed the plan.

A breakdown posted online by councillor Kim Richter estimates 71 per cent were strongly against the plan, 27 per cent were for (with some supporters expressing reservations) and two per cent didn't say either way.

The proposed plan is scheduled to come back to council for debate at the March 31 meeting.

On Monday (Mar. 10), Township council will begin a new public hearing on another controversial issue, the revised Coulter Berry proposal to build a three-story mixed retail, residential and commercial complex in the heart of Fort Langley.

Like Brookswood, the Coulter Berry hearing is expected to draw a crowd and require more than one evening.

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