Coulter Berry would add livability to Fort

Editor: Much has been said about Coulter Berry with a lot of finger pointing now that a big hole has been left in our village.

We have no connection to the developer nor the proposed building, but believe the Glover/Mavis corner deserves the beautiful landmark that was under construction.

Running a small business in Fort Langley, even after eight years, as my wife and I have done, can be challenging at the best of times.

The commercial core is still very much dependent on fair weather days.

The Coulter Berry project would add to the village’s business space and diversity. A healthy mix of uses allows us to become more vibrant, viable and sustainable as a village. More choice and services would also be good for those that prefer to shop close to home.

While much energy can be put into arguing about bylaws and guidelines, shouldn’t the focus be on improving the quality of village life?

Will this building be a legacy that we can be proud of?

Is underground parking better in the long run than a surface parking lot?

For me the answer to all those questions is “yes, of course.”

If you agree that hiding parking underground creates a more pedestrian-friendly environment than a surface parking lot, there are certain financial realities to consider. It costs at least $50,000 for every underground parking space.

This means that there has to be sufficient square footage of usable space to make the economics work.

We are very lucky to have someone willing to make this kind of extraordinary investment where there is obviously no short-term gain.

Mixed use, environmentally friendly, a solid stately heritage look and no big asphalt parking lot — this is the kind of development that adds to village livability.

Blair Shpeley

Fort Langley

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