Letters to the Editor

Gaping hole left in heart of village

Editor: What is sustainability?

Our construction company was building Coulter Berry. Our offices have been in Fort Langley for years. Until recently, I was a director with the Fort Langley BIA.

I was born in Langley, left and returned here to raise my family.

I take a long term view of development and believe we have a responsibility to steward the resources we have been entrusted for future generations.

One such resource is land. We have some of the most productive land in the world. Its very survival is under threat. People want to live here and we should welcome them.

This, however, should be balanced out with the need to preserve our farmland.

There are very few places in the Township that lend themselves naturally to increasing residential capacity without costing us precious farmland. Fort Langley is such a place.

For the price of a little air above a second floor we could have created 10 residential units; 10 homes that take up exactly zero land.

Not only that, but 10 homes that meet the needs of an aging population. All this while leading the way in environmental stewardship and sustainability.

We should be begging for more Coulter Berry’s in the Township.

To me, sustainable developments are projects that balance the needs of the community, stakeholders, and the environment.

They are extremely rare and require a tremendous amount of thought to get right.

I would challenge anyone to find a project anywhere that can match Coulter Berry: multi-use (retail, office, residential), environmental sustainability (LEED Gold), walkability (hide the cars underground), and community (residential in the core with aging-in-place suites).

We should applaud the passion and commitment to our village, be thankful that our council had the vision to see it, and be outraged that it has all resulted in a gaping hole in the heart of our village.

I implore those who believe our village is to be a thriving sustainable community to get involved.

If and when we get another opportunity to support a world class project like this, let your voice be heard. Together let’s make Langley a thriving community that honors its history, is full of opportunity in the present, and is designed to last for the future.

That to me is what sustainability is about.

Kevin Speilman

Vice President, Xaris Construction

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