Letters to the Editor

Coulter Berry was approved by an elected council

Editor: Re: the Coulter Berry debacle.

Stopping this project midstream is a misuse of the legal system.

We are crushing an investor who has a holistic view of the village’s commercial core and who has put together a progressive, environmentally friendly building.

The project adds critical business capacity to the village as well as residences, needed office space and very-much needed public washrooms.

Who among the naysayers is prepared to table a $12 million package which adds so much to the business core.

After finding a court to hear the petition and the judge stopped the job, did the Fort Langley Residents for Sustainable Development advise the judge that well over $1 million had already been spent and that a significant number of jobs would be lost?

Was the judge advised that the silent majority wants more development in the village?  We need an improved variety of businesses here to support modern living.

Did the FLRSD foresee a big hole in the ground at the village centre for a year or much longer?

Do they volunteer to pay for this mess, the inconvenience to all of us and to the wasted cost of a stalled construction site?

The true heritage element of Fort Langley is the fort itself and the federal government protects that.

The present business and professional services core of the village is narrow in scope. Investors such as Eric Woodward have the courage and foresight to broaden the business spectrum.

This is not 1959.

Modern real estate values and municipal building codes (for our protection) make one- and two-storey new buildings with underground parking financially impossible.  Indeed, the older one- and two-storey buildings throughout the Village were built as basic necessity structures at the time, and to safety codes now obsolete.

If the wish is to keep these older, basic buildings or build similar new ones, then a heritage society needs to step up, buy the properties and subsidize their operation into the future. I oppose a taxpayer subsidy for that.

For its part, Township Council needs to “protect its young,” appeal this ruling to the court, and do whatever needs to be done to update the OCP and let the project proceed.  Building design certainly can be in a heritage style for pleasing aesthetics, but, Fort Langley needs to progress with the rest of the Lower Mainland.

The Coulter Berry Building was approved by an elected council.  Let’s get on with it.

John Allan

Fort Langley

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