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Milner Heights townhouse decision delayed

Vesta Properties is proposing a 125-unit townhouse development in Willoughby, as phase four of its Milner Heights project. Neighbours, some of whom live in earlier phases of the development, expressed concerns about the density of the project at a public hearing on Monday, June 16. - Submitted image
Vesta Properties is proposing a 125-unit townhouse development in Willoughby, as phase four of its Milner Heights project. Neighbours, some of whom live in earlier phases of the development, expressed concerns about the density of the project at a public hearing on Monday, June 16.
— image credit: Submitted image

A decision on an application by developer Vesta Properties to build 125 townhouses near 72 Avenue and 208 Street has been delayed by Langley Township council. It has referred the matter to staff, to negotiate a compromise between the builder and people living near the project.

The decision at the Monday night meeting followed a June 16 public hearing that was dominated by opponents of the proposal, mostly residents who bought homes in the first three phases of the Milner Estates development by Vesta.

They said the fourth phase would funnel too much traffic through their neighbourhoods, creating congestion and potential safety hazards.

Councillor Charlie Fox tried and failed Monday to convince the rest of council to change the road layout of the townhouses to redirect traffic away from the objecting residents.

“I think we can make decisions based on public input and I think we got public input here that’s pretty clear,” Fox said. “I’m not prepared to be wishy-washy.”

The rest of council did not agree, saying the Fox proposal could still be adopted after it has been reviewed.

“We’re not saying no to anything,” Councillor Steve Ferguson said.

Councillor Grant Ward said, at the very least, the developer should be asked if it can bear the cost of redoing the plan.

In order to build 125 townhouses, Vesta Properties wants to increase the allowable density from 21 units per hectare to 23.

A report by Township staff at the public hearing called the project “consistent with the overall objectives of the Northeast Gordon Estates Neighbourhood Plan and Willoughby Community Plan," noting Vesta is offering various amenities including building 14 housing units with wider doors and hallways and other features that can be adapted for elderly and disabled people; a “natural play area” and playground for children; and more than doubling the amount of space for a “child-friendly amenity area” from the minimum of 1,000 square metres to 2,300.

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