Development should benefit community, not foreign investors

Editor: Langley’s Development Challenge – who wins?

The Township of Langley’s various OCPs appear to contain ideals that would build a good community and protect the environment.

However, these plans fail to address two very big elephants: 1) Years of unprecedented low interest rates allows those with huge wealth to truly control real estate development. 2) The TOL uses an outdated Development Cost Charge (DCC) system that requires massive upfront payments the DCC essentially hands development to deep-pocketed corporations.

Free markets and capitalism is what built Langley and of course development is needed, but we also want the community where we live to truly benefit, not some hedge fund manager in Toronto or New York who needs yet another Bugatti.

To put it in perspective: The entire development value of Brookswood-Fernridge is a rounding error on the balance sheets of the “world one per cent” and much of this money is ultimately controlled in New York, London, the Far East and the Arabian Kingdoms.

Recent growth in Willoughby and Aldergrove prove the point: Willoughby has overcrowded schools, no parking, poor transit, and constant construction on gridlocked roads. Aldergrove has been waiting years for a proper indoor pool, and instead gets a glorified water park and the bonus of deforestation.

Overall, Langley in general battles with increasing homelessness and aging seniors that will create yet further stress. Common sense says that through development, Langley should be paying less taxes with more taxpayers, yet in the last 10 years of unprecedented growth, the TOL’s tax rates have increased on average at double the rate of inflation.

TOL taxpayers foot the bill of “community disruption” while the vast profits of development are siphoned off to fill the coffers of the ultra-wealthy and their minions, most of whom view our community simply as an asset line on a spreadsheet. The TOL’s outdated DCC “system” has failed.

The solution is simple: Discard the outdated TOL DCC policy and bring back the age-old system of municipal bonds to finance a Langley infrastructure development fund.

Bond purchase rules are created that give advantage to Langley property owners.

After all, we can already use our RRSPs to finance everything from Windmill Farms in Holland to Marijuana growers in Nanaimo, why can we not finance the needs of our own community? This fund would not be a tax, it is an investment.

The Langley development fund would raise money to finance the infrastructure before it is needed and costs are paid back to the fund as land develops.

Jobs will be created, growth won’t be so disruptive and much more profit will be retained in the community. Current landowners who have built and lived in the community will have better opportunity to continue to live in Langley and most important, there will more opportunity to help their kids live in Langley as well.

The fund setup is not hard to do, but will need a groundswell of support to force the levels of government to make the required changes. Think about it, think hard and debate.

Do not let the tidal wave of financial globalization continue to trump (pun intended) our great community.

Mike McPhee,

Langley

Just Posted

UPDATE: Wind warning has ended for Metro Vancouver

More than 34,000 BC Hydro customers in the dark on Sunday morning in the Lower Mainland and Sunshine Coast

VIDEO: Vancouver Giants blanked by Portland Winterhawks

Saturday’s 2-0 setback marks first regulation loss for G-Men in 10 games

Langley Clothes by the Pound closes

Thrift store that tried to introduce a new approach to bargain hunting may have gone out of business

Proposal to ban pot dispensaries in White Rock would affect Langley businessman

Randy Caine and partners hope to open dispensaries once laws are changed

Mom delivers plastic mats to Langley’s homeless

Jenifer Kosman fashions sleeping mats from plastic grocery bags

Philadelphia Eagles headed to Super Bowl

After routing the Minnesota Vikings 38-7, they will face Tom Brady and the New England Patriots

Heavy snowfall closes Mount Washington on Vancouver Island

Road to ski resort deemed unsafe, vehicles buried under more than three feet of snow

VIDEO: Dramatic video shows return of rescued B.C. snowboarders

Two snowboarders were rescued near Rossland, B.C. on Sunday after being lost overnight.

Tom Brady leads Patriots back to Super Bowl, top Jaguars 24-20

New England to face winner of Sunday night’s game between Minnesota and Philadelphia on Feb. 4

Coquihalla drivers prepare for snow

Wintry conditions persist, with snow warnings for Coquihalla

Liberals quietly tap experts to write new paternity leave rules

Ideas include creating an entirely new leave benefit similar to one that exists in Quebec

Insurers say Canadian weather getting hotter, wetter and weirder

Average number of days with heavy rain or snow across Canada has been outside norm since spring 2013

Final phase of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy trials to kick off in B.C.

Doctors hope to get psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy legalized in Canada and the U.S. by 2021

Most Read