Letter: Looking to council to make the right decision on James Hill development

Editor: On Sept. 17, the Township of Langley council will have the opportunity to rise above the ordinary as they review the bylaw for Sandhill developments, which will allow more development and smaller lots.

This wilderness area, which is highly uncommon in this neighbourhood, is slated for development. The property is covered with large cedar and hemlock, it is not just a stand of cottonwood trees.

Reviewing the 1979 (amended 1988) Official Community Plan, it is worth noting it states the Murrayville area would accommodate a population or 9,700 but the current population already exceeds 11,000 according to the Township web site, and more are being added in several major developments. This development already exceeds the OCP in numbers. The OCP also states the lot size will be at a minimum 10,010 square feet. Reducing the size of the lots also contravenes the OCP.It also states that careful consideration (be given) to retain as many trees as possible. In this case almost none will be spared. Here is the opportunity to save them all.

READ MORE: Murrayville residents lobby to save small forest from development

There are a host of reasons for stopping this development, they are obvious to anyone who has visited the site. There is a curved road, with limited visibility, increased noise, added traffic in a school zone.

To the community at large, there is virtually no upside to this housing. Sandhill development wins and the Township gets a few tax dollars. The community loses. The school loses. We lose a place for kids to free-play and learn, people to walk their dogs, and a refuge from the sun and weather, as well as a place for wildlife to flourish.

The climate has changed significantly since 1988 when the OCP was written and so have our needs. Exposure to direct sunlight is no longer appropriate for young children or seniors with sensitivity to light. The demand for places like this will only intensify, we should provide shade and a place for kids to learn about tree species and plant identification. The school does hold classes in natural science in these woods.

Development is easy, irreversible and, in this case, unnecessary. I hope that council will view this development through the eyes of the community and make the right choice in rejecting this housing expansion and then taking the steps to hold it in its natural state as parkland.

We are looking for council to overwhelmingly vote this bylaw down

On Sept. 17, we will take note to see which councillors support this development, and who on this council has vision and the courage to make a difference.

Yes, there will be obstacles. That is what we expect our elected officials are able to overcome. After all October is just around the corner.

John and Susan Bookless,

Murrayville

Just Posted

Langley Rams downed by Saskatoon Hilltops at Canadian Bowl

Four-time Canadian Junior Football League champions built up an insurmountable lead

VIDEO: Crash on 88 Avenue in Langley

At least one car suffered extensive damage

Extreme weather alert issued by Langley shelter

Gateway of Hope offers homeless warm place to sleep

Cunningham to be added to the Vancouver Giants Wall of Honour

He will be the guest of honour at Langley Events Centre on Sunday, Dec. 2

Giants serve up major defeat to Pats at Langley Events Centre

On the ice, Vancouver G-Men wrap up home stand with a 10-4 win over Regina Friday night.

Trudeau offers to help Pacific islands face climate change impact

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau met with the leaders from the Pacific island nations on Saturday during the APEC Summit in Papua New Guinea

Canadian military’s template for perfect recruits outdated: Vance

Gen. Jonathan Vance, the chief of defence staff says that the military has to change because the very nature of warfare is changing, particularly when it comes to cyber-warfare

‘Toxic’ chosen as the Word of the Year by Oxford Dictionaries

Other top contenders for 2018 include ‘gaslighting’ and ‘techlash’

RCMP bust illegal B.C. cannabis lab

Marijuana may be legal but altering it using chemicals violates the Cannabis Act

1 woman dead, man in hospital after ‘suspicious’ crash: police

Homicide investigators and Burnaby RCMP are investigating the fatal collision

Canada defeats Germany 29-10 in repechage, moves step closer to Rugby World Cup

Hong Kong needs a bonus-point win over Canada — scoring four or more tries — while denying the Canadians a bonus point

Avalanche Canada in desperate need of funding

The organization provides avalanche forecasting for an area larger than the United Kingdom

5 B.C. cities break temperature records

Parts of B.C. remain warm, at 10 C, while others feeling chilly

B.C. teacher’s Amazing Race takes students on Canada-wide adventure

Agassiz high school students say they had the experience of a life time

Most Read