A public hearing on amendments to the 2017 Brookswood-Fernridge Community Plan was held at George Preston Recreation Centre on Sept. 12. Miranda Gathercole Langley Times

VIDEO: Hundreds pack recreation centre for Brookswood-Fernridge public hearing

Nearly 60 people voiced their opinions on the 2017 amended community plan

Hundreds of people gathered at the George Preston Recreation Centre Tuesday night to have one last say on the amended 2017 Brookswood-Fernridge Community Plan.

Close to 60 residents voiced their opinions over the three-hour long public hearing, and much like the previous hearing in June, some spoke very much in favour of the 2017 plan, while others spoke passionately against it.

This second public hearing was held to give residents the opportunity to comment on the 15 amendments that were made to the 2017 plan in July.

Those changes were passed by council over two days of debate, and the plan subsequently failed third reading by a 5-4 vote. This prompted Mayor Jack Froese to call a special meeting on July 17, where council decided to send the plan to public hearing one last time.

RELATED: Council sends Brookswood-Fernridge Community Plan to public hearing

RELATED: Council defeats Brookswood-Fernridge Community Plan

Members of the Brookswood-Fernridge Community Association have submitted their own amended version of the 2017 plan for council’s consideration. Coun. David Davis made a notice of motion on behalf of the group at council’s Sept. 11 meeting to adopt the association’s amendments as a whole.

“While we definitely support the 2017 OCP (official community plan) in its current state, we also believe it can be improved upon with the amendments being presented before you …” said Don Tocher, on behalf of the association.

“We have spent over six hours in consultation meetings with senior long range planners for clarification of certain sections, policies and subheadings as well as getting their support for the amendments we have presented before you.

“… (The amendments) make some of these sections less ambiguous and therefore gives developers a more clear understanding of what is expected of them. This reduces the potential for debates and struggles staff may have to endure in the OCP development.”

Other residents spoke about the rundown properties and drug-houses that are infiltrating Fernridge, and asked council to make a decision on the community plan quickly.

Sally Rees, a member of the Brookswood-Fernridge community planning team, remembers walking down a dirt road to attend Glenwood Elementary in 1960. She said she wishes the area could remain as the quaint country town she grew up in, but also appreciates “positive changes.”

“What I don’t like is watching the area that I love disintegrate before my eyes,” she said.

“Since 1987 people have been selling their properties to developers. Many of these new owners don’t live here and have little regard for what goes on at these properties.

“The sense of community has diminished greatly. Many people are choosing to move away, and in their place are a number of questionable residents.”

Rees says many houses and barns are becoming derelict as owners wait for development to come. Her neighbour’s house, for example, became a home for squatters who burned furniture inside to keep warm after their heat was shut off.

“This wouldn’t happen in the Fernridge I grew up in …” she said.

“I feel that people are being blinded by the rush of new development in Willoughby, and we are discounting the careful and considerate work that has gone into the current Brookswood-Fernridge plan …

“Thirty years is a long time to wait for a workable plan, we deserve a resolution.”

And yet others are worried that the new plan will take away the neighourhood characteristics that attracted people to live in Brookswood in the first place.

Kathy Marsden believes even with the additional amendments from the Brookswood-Fernridge Community Association, the 2017 plan still gives too much leeway to developers.

“The 2017 OCP is a gift to developers and to those who wish to profit from the sale of their properties,” she said, adding that it hasn’t addressed the wants that other residents have expressed through the public engagement process, such as lower density and better preservation of wildlife.

The 2017 plan is expected to come back to council for a vote in October.


A public hearing on amendments to the 2017 Brookswood-Fernridge Community Plan was held at George Preston Recreation Centre on Sept. 12. Miranda Gathercole Langley Times.

A public hearing on amendments to the 2017 Brookswood-Fernridge Community Plan was held at George Preston Recreation Centre on Sept. 12. Miranda Gathercole Langley Times.

A public hearing on amendments to the 2017 Brookswood-Fernridge Community Plan was held at George Preston Recreation Centre on Sept. 12. Miranda Gathercole Langley Times.

Just Posted

VIDEO: Double-decker bus pilot in Langley gets rave reviews

The ceiling is a little low, but other than that, everyone seems to be a fan

Emaciated dog brought to Surrey shelter now healthy and up for adoption

Eclipse came into the Surrey Resource Animal Shelter last summer in skeletal, calloused condition

Township of Langley ranked No 1 ‘least tempting’ for millennials to live

Out of 85 cities, Township ranked lowest because of crime, affordability, says Point2homes.com

UFV Cascades baseball coach joins Los Angeles Dodger organization

Former Chicago Cub farmhand Wes Darvill is back in affiliated baseball.

Bobcats beat Lions, earn B.C. berth

Brookswood junior girls basketball team books its spot at provincial championships

UPDATED: SUV fire at Langley mall (with video)

Firefighters respond to Fraser Highway incident

Winter storm coming to B.C. this weekend

The bets are on as to how much snow the province will actually get in the coming days

B.C. civil rights group files complaint about RCMP arrest of man who later died

Dale Culver, a 35-year-old Indigenous man was arrested in Prince George last July

Lawyer says former B.C. government aide ‘barely guilty’ in ethnic vote scandal

Brian Bonney pleaded guilty to a breach of trust charge

Quite a few tears as homemade quilts distributed to residents of Ashcroft Reserve, Boston Flats affected by last summer’s fire

Quilters in B.C. and Alberta worked through the summer and fall to create more than 100 quilts.

Teachers’ union votes for non-confidence in school board

Lack of action after embattled trustee’s comments created unsafe workplace, Chilliwack teachers claim

Island Health: No need for alarm in wake of Victoria needle-prick incidents

Three incidents in a week prompts meeting between health authority, city service providers

B.C. coast loggers celebrate history, hope for improvement

Truck Loggers Association awaits B.C. NDP government’s new direction

Global Affairs aware of report of two Canadians kidnapped in Nigeria

The foreigners were heading south from Kafanchan to Abuja when they were ambushed around Kagarko

Most Read