Fort Langley's quaintness may vanish
Editor: Many people are concerned about “Vanishing Vancouver.” Many large and small older buildings are being demolished, to make way for palatial homes. This would appear to some to be wasteful and against environmental and heritage ideals.
The other concern refers to the destruction of the “past,” to make way for present and future development. The destruction of the old-style house and garden is happening, to make way for more efficient modern housing, thus creating a new cityscape.
In Fort Langley, we are welcoming development in the village where “necessity is the mother of invention.” The old village, with its quaint shops and art galleries, is being changed to accommodate the burgeoning population and many tourists.
However, Fort Langley is unique in the history of B.C. It needs to retain the atmosphere of the past as an educational and recreational destination for our future families and visitors. For these reasons, the Township of Langley had experts, community planners and staff work with the community to create an official Community Plan and Heritage Guidelines. The main area of the village was legally made a “heritage covenanted” zone.
After plans for one building were rejected as non-conforming by Township planners and much community input, council voted to allow “spot zoning.” for one building. This has created a double standard, as all other builders have conformed to the heritage guidelines and bylaws. The Coulter Berry building planned for the corner of Glover and Mavis will be so massive it will dwarf the community hall.
This decision may set a dangerous precedent for the future of this sample of history — the small town which grew up around the Fort, on the banks of the Fraser River, where our province was established.
If Township council does not support their own rules and treat everyone fairly, Fort Langley, as we know it, will vanish.