Letter: Council urged to preserve last little evergreen forest in Murrayville

Editor: The following is an open letter that was sent to the mayor and councillors of the Township of Langley, regarding the Sandhill development, James Hill Park.

This land was released by the Township from the ALR in 2015 on the promise that it would adhere to the Official Community Plan. Density was to be the same as Murrayville.

The owner has now applied to double the density, for which the Township will need to change the Official Community Plan. This is contrary to the original agreement.

The Sandhill Development at the end of James Hill Park has a win-win solution built into it. The property was originally purchased with the expectation/permission of building 11 new homes.

If the district permits the density on Sandhill’s new proposal to double, but permit only half the land to be developed, everyone wins.

The developer gets his planned number of new homes, but he in turn sells the forest to the Township to add to James Hill Park.

There are several cost sharing programs such as the Neighborhood Initiatives Program, providing funding for recreational/parks opportunities.

There are community grants and other sources of capital to pay for the new park space.

This little evergreen forest is the last in Murrayville.

A last refuge for wildlife in this neighborhood, and a place for excellent student outdoor classes and has been used as such over the years. It is one of the last places of shade and wilderness left in this neighbourhood.

This small parcel is adjacent to a school and a park which has very few trees. We hope to walk under those Murrayville trees for a long, long time.

The Township can buy back half the forest up to 44 Avenue to add into the park. The school is in favour.

We hope and urge the council to take the necessary steps to save this very valuable island of forest.

Susan Bookless,

Langley

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