An application to build a boutique hotel in Fort Langley has been officially withdrawn by builder Eric Woodward.
Woodward sent a letter to the Township of Langley on Jan. 10. advising he will not proceed with the application to build the hotel as part of a three-storey mix of residential and business space on a 1.39 acre site at Glover Road and Mary Avenue.
It has been almost two years since the proposal was unveiled, and about a year-and-a-half since the application was filed.
“We can’t get the development to council,” Woodward said.
Township planning and transportation staff are insisting on a lane that would run through the middle of the planned courtyard plaza and performance space and force its removal, Woodward said.
The decision comes after Woodward formally withdrew applications for two other projects in Fort Langley, one for a small building – he advised the Township in November it would not be proceeding – and one for a larger project on the other side of Glover Road, where the formal letter was sent in December.
In both cases, Woodward said unreasonable demands for modifications were being made by Township staff.
In an online posting announcing the withdrawal, Woodward said the combined value of the three projects was $65 million.
All of Woodward’s websites and Facebook pages regarding the projects have since been removed.
He said some of the buildings on the sites will have to be boarded up because they “are already well past their reasonable lives (and) without any prospect of eventual replacement, there is now little basis left to continue subsidizing most of these older buildings on Glover Road that require new roofs, new mechanical, new electrical, new plumbing, and have numerous structural and drainage problems.”
Some buildings “will remain open, and we will maintain them as best we can, for as long as possible,” he said.
Last year, Woodward had a house on the Mary Avenue site painted bright pink to bring attention to his standoff with the Township of Langley over its demolition.
The Township, he said, was refusing to issue a permit for the demolition of the house and several other soon-to-be vacated buildings on the 1.39 acre site at Glover Road and Mary Avenue unless he met several conditions that he considered unreasonable.
Reached for comment, Township mayor Jack Froese said withdrawing the development proposals was a “business decision” by Woodward.
“Hopefully, at some point he wants to develop it and work with the Township and we’re happy to work with him,” Froese said.
Woodward told the Times he has no plans to sell the properties and expects it will be “at least five to 10 years” before he tries again to develop them.
“Until the climate is significantly different, there’s no basis to proceed,” Woodward said.
The current council, he said, could intervene with staff to resolve the impasse, but hasn’t.
“They (council) all know about and it they do nothing,” Woodward said.
“They endorse it with their silence.”