Decision on Coulter Berry building was simply the wrong one
Editor: Langley Township council has made its decision, and it is what we expected from it.
Whether council passed the Fort Langley building or not — the decision is still wrong.
It is wrong for one man to push his will for any building that is against the bylaws. It is wrong for council to have even given it any thought.
It is wrong for a previous mayor to assist him in bypassing the bylaws that he installed.
It was wrong for the council to go and turn the sod, when it was not cleared. It was wrong for the construction to begin without a permit.
It is wrong to denigrate the heritage folks who have worked for years to preserve the essence of Fort Langley.
It was wrong for council to have a public hearing, where members of council were not hearing.
It is wrong for them to conspire corporately behind the scene to try to cover their tracks in this blunder they created.
It was wrong for the council to have strong, valid, intelligent, ethical and explicit reasons given why this construction was wrong, and to ignore them.
It was wrong for a councillor to state that OCPs should be respected, when she voted on the Brookswood decision but ignore the Fort Langley OCP.
It is wrong for lawyers and leaders to not follow the intent of the law but to find a way around them to get what they want.
It was wrong for the council to require other builders to adhere to the requirements, while fighting for one to ignore them.
It simply is wrong for anyone in leadership to be swayed by friends and finances, rather than ethics.
Mayor Jack Froese and Councillor Grant Ward both voted to pass Brookswood and Coulter Berry, ignoring every sensible reason provided. Others couldn’t see past statements like “Heritage isn’t defined by a three-storey building” or “two storeys are boring.” Another one told us we weren’t very bright in understanding the situation, and that he didn’t care what we thought.
Thank you, Councillors David Davis and Bob Long, for understanding what is at stake here. We are watching and taking note. Councillor Davis, that yardstick that had been used on your bottom as a child must have put some sense into the other end.
All in all, even if the majority wants something that is wrong, it is still wrong.
Brookswood, you have a short reprieve. But just wait, council will be back on your case before long.
Council members knew they were stuck on this massive blunder in the Fort, and they felt they’d appear reasonable by turning one down to approve the other. It is all quite apparent what’s going on.
The permit for the construction to resume in Fort Langley was posted a day or two after the decision. This is proof that behind the scenes, council was working on it, while pretending to have given serious thought to its decision. Normally, it takes weeks for a permit to be granted.
Editor’s note — The excavation of the Coulter Berry site which took place last summer was done after an excavation permit was issued. It stopped after a court decision, which invalidated council’s decision allowing the project to proceed, and led to the recent rezoning.