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Many questions remain about Brookswood planning process
Editor: So we’ve been through a three-night public hearing process. This brought about due to the alleged surprise of mayor and councillors at the massive turnout.
I suppose they should have had some recollection of the same massive turnout at the open house at Fernridge Hall mere weeks before. The overcrowdings at both this open house and the first public hearing session led to numerous potential attendees leaving without entering.
This aside, the residents have spoken and the numbers speak loudly and clearly. Based on those that spoke at the hearings, a 4-1 ratio is in opposition, or 3-1 if you choose to include an expanded rating guide that includes those in support of the plan, but not without modifications. Either way, a clear majority is firmly opposed.
So now we will see whom Mayor Jack Froese and Langley Township council will be representing. There are several questions and concerns as to the forthrightness of the Brookswood/Fernridge planning process.
These include the steady increase in density with each successive Draft Land Use Plan, the contribution of $500,000 from the Griffith Neighbourhood Advisory Corporation, the speculative and pre-emptive clear cutting of certain landowner properties, the potential damage to the aquifer due to allowed building design, held back information like the planned overpass through Brookswood Park, or the passing of first and second readings prior to holding public hearings. The current Brookswood/Fernridge OCP planning process has been a poster child of mismanagement.
Two percent of Langley contains coniferous forests, mostly in Brookswood/Fernridge. Once it is clear cut, it is gone forever. Seventy-five percent of land in Langley Township is within the ALR. Trying to develop Langley like neighbouring communities is quite simply folly. Councillor Bob Long has stated “It’s all about the community coming together and agreeing to a livable plan.” The current plan is clearly not accepted by the community as a livable one.
It is now time for Mayor Froese and council to make a decision, a decision for the future of Brookswood/Fernridge. In democratic societies, majorities rule.
Will they be representing the minority with the most to gain, or the majority with the most to lose? This is an overwhelming majority of opposition.
Are they listening?