An artist rendering depicts a new three-storey complex, featuring a boutique hotel and courtyard plaza, proposed by builder Eric Woodward for the corner of Glover Road and Mary Avenue in Fort Langley.

Fort Langley boutique hotel proposal submitted to the Township

Two months of consultations found most preferred three-storey design

After multiple focus group meetings with more than 120 people, builder Eric Woodward said it was clear which of two designs was preferred for his 1.39 acre site at Glover Road and Mary Avenue in Fort Langley.

Woodward said the response was “overwhelmingly positive” for the three-storey option with a boutique hotel and a courtyard plaza, which won 84 per cent approval.

The other design option was a two-storey building with no hotel or plaza.

The consultation process began with a community planning session in October of 2015 attended by 88 people.

In February of this year, there were four presentations of the two- and three-storey concepts at the Fort Langley Community Hall held over three days and attended by more than 500 people.

Woodward then held 19 focus groups with 122 people from Feb. 13 to April 7.

Among those who attended, the online records show 97 were Fort Langley residents, and the five who were not either owned property or worked in Fort Langley.

Woodward said the three-storey design was revised in response to the focus group comments.

The proposal features a hotel with 27 nightly rental rooms.

The design has 34 residential units, including live-work studios.

The residential component is seven fewer than Township density regulations would allow, Woodward noted.

The plan for the street-level businesses includes restaurants and various retail outlets.

The proposed project has 153 parking stalls, 45 more than required by Township regulations.

All of the parking will be enclosed within the building.

Full details of the revised design can be viewed online at the website “Department of Fort Langley Awesomeness” at http://www.dofla.org.

Under the heading, “Building Heights,” the website said the addition of a third floor was needed to “barely” cover the cost of the added parking, boutique hotel and courtyard plaza.

It noted the design has “some façades lower, some higher” than the bylaw-defined building height for Glover Road, Mary Avenue and Church Street of 12 meters or 39.37 feet.

“These heights are consistent with the Fort Langley Community Hall, Heritage Manor, the apartment buildings in Bedford Landing, and the Coulter Berry Building,” the posting said.

The design is now in the hands of Township planners.

Woodward told The Times he expects it will likely be a couple of years or more before construction can begin, depending on how the approval process goes.

He noted his Coulter Berry building down the street is just now preparing for its official opening, four years after Township council first approved the project.

Construction of the three-storey Coulter Berry was held up when opponents went to court over the building height and obtained an order halting construction.

The order was overturned in 2014 by the B.C. Court of Appeal, which upheld the Township council approval.