A Fraser Highway property which had been earmarked for construction of a popular coffee house was back before Langley City council on Monday, Sept. 23, with a proposed new look and new purpose.
The parcel of land at 20112 Fraser Highway was slated to become the first Wired Monk in Langley to offer drive thru service, after a presentation was made to council in March, 2012.
However, Bruce Olson, the owner of the roughly 10,000 square foot lot, located between Mr. Lube and Kostas Greek restaurant, appeared before council on Monday night to present a new design, which calls for a 3,000 square foot, single-storey structure featuring an outdoor patio area.
Unlike the Wired Monk proposal, the current design does not call for a drive thru.
During their discussion about the property in early 2012, council members expressed concern about the idling vehicles and long queues that tend to accompany them. The new design, by PJ Lovick Architect Ltd., raised a different question for council.
The west wall of the proposed building is a large, windowless expanse, which Councillor Dave Hall suggested might prove tempting to graffiti artists. Olson told council his concern is not so much with potential vandalism, saying graffiti is relatively easy to manage if it’s removed right away.
“There are chemicals and stuff you can buy. Graffiti’s not that big a problem if you get at it right away,” he said.
His experience has been that if graffiti is cleaned up immediately, eventually taggers will give up and move on.
Olson also indicated that he’d met with the Langley Arts Council to discuss the possibility of public art to deter vandalism.
The bigger problem, Olson said, is with homeless people camping behind the lot, where there is currently a wooden fence, trees and shrubbery, separating the empty lot from a back lane on its south side.
“I want to remove the fence to allow (traffic to) exit through the back alley and help keep traffic off Fraser Highway,” said Olson.
Olson said the encampments have created a mess, which includes discarded needles.
“I want to clean all that up, open that up, install better lighting.”
No indication was given of what type of business or businesses would occupy the building.
Council gave its initial stamp of approval to the project at the meeting. No one from the public chose to speak about the proposal.