Letter: South Brookswood/Fernridge is a distinct community and should be treated as one

Editor: I am pleased that the Township of Langley is interested in consulting the community regarding the new Brookswood/Fernridge Community Plan.

I sincerely hope that this interest is genuine, and that input from residents will be given a higher priority than that of developers.

I have a number of comments and concerns, and as I was not able to attend the open house nor the meetings prior, I would like to state them here.

I moved to Langley over 28 years ago, and chose to live in Fernridge because of its great stands of coniferous trees, the Little Campbell River, which runs through it, the abundant nature and the relaxed and peaceful style of life.

There was no confusion in my mind between Brookswood and South Brookswood/Fernridge. Brookswood itself had distinctly smaller lots, a commercial centre, sidewalks, buses, and street lights; we did not.

Now South Brookswood/Fernridge also has a bus or two, a few more street lights, and sadly much more traffic on its main streets. To me, however, it remains a unique area, and I am concerned that the Township, for the purposes of the new OCP, considers Brookswood and South Brookswood/Fernridge one entity.

A uniform expanse of small lots interspersed with commercial centres stretching roughly from 36 Avenue to 20 Avenue, it seems, is the goal.

I don’t see the benefits of uniformity; it is diversity that brings vibrancy to a community.

Fort Langley and Aldergrove, for example, rich in historical and cultural interest, are generally considered to be separate towns within the Township. Why could South Brookswood/Fernridge (or simply Fernridge) not be preserved as a community within the Township, where residents can continue to live on treed acreage, pasturing their horses and chickens, or selling home-grown plants and berries?

Even if only pockets of developments occur within unique areas such as these, their character and integrity will be lost.

It would be a different matter if the majority of residents in South Brookswood/Fernridge wanted to be uniform with Brookswood.

But the opposite has been the case as long as I have lived here.

If we are opposed to being considered the “undeveloped area,” soon to be developed, can we perhaps have a referendum like the UK did, and exit from the Brookswood/Fernridge union?

Despite the shocking amount of unwarranted clear cutting that has gone on in the past several years, South Brookswood is still unique.

If it is to be developed into small lots with commercial centres at major intersections, there will be tremendous losses of habitat for wildlife, of lifestyle for current residents, and a of precious part of the fabric of Langley.

I understand that Metro Vancouver’s Regional Growth Strategy has allotted growth targets to municipalities, and that this is part of the motivation for increasing dwelling units in the “undeveloped area” of Brookswood/Fernridge. These numbers are not mandated, but I can appreciate Langley Township’s willingness to do its part.

I expect, however, that pressure from developers is equally, if not more, driving the need for increased population density.

If the Township is intent on increasing its population, then my inexpert opinion would be to increase density along major streets in existing urban areas, such as 200 Street and 208 Street north of Brookswood or the Bypass. I expect that there are other options, but obviously South Brookswood/Fernridge is a goldmine for those wanting to profit from development.

I would prefer that our area was not depleted of its gold, that our natural treasures remain intact and thriving.

I hope that the Township will adjust its plan to prevent its destruction.

Kathy Marsden

Fernridge

Just Posted

Kodiaks begin best-of-seven series strong

The Kodiaks opened their quarter-final playoff series by defeating the Delta Ice Hawks on home ice.

Abbotsford goes up 2-0 on Langley

Pilots win both games on home ice, series now shifts to Langley

Heritage proposal for Aldergrove fire hall at a ‘standstill’

The Alder Grove Heritage Society faces a delay in knowing the fate of the fire hall due to tenants slated to live in the building until 2020.

VIDEO: Langley hosting high-flying fun at annual gymnastics tournament

Action runs Friday through Sunday at the Langley Events Centre fieldhouse.

BREAKING: Plecas won’t run in next election if legislature oversight reforms pass

B.C. Speaker and Abbotsford South MLA says he feels ‘great sympathy’ for Jody Wilson-Raybould

VIDEO: Langley hosting high-flying fun at annual gymnastics tournament

Action runs Friday through Sunday at the Langley Events Centre fieldhouse.

Ammonia leak shuts down curling club in Nelson

It’s not yet clear when the leak was detected

Pavelski’s 31st goal helps Sharks top Canucks 3-2

Vancouver one point out of second NHL wild-card spot

Stabbing at Lower Mainland banquet hall sends man to hospital

RCMP says victim has ‘non-life threatening’ injuries, incident still under investigation

Eight cases of measles confirmed in Vancouver outbreak

Coastal Health official say the cases stem from the French-language Ecole Jules Verne Secondary

Ontario police field complaints over Amber Alert for missing girl, 11, found dead

Some said the Amber Alert issued late Thursday for Riya Rajkumar disrupted their sleep

Former B.C. premier Gordon Campbell accused of sexual touching

Accuser went to police, interviewed by Britian’s Daily Telegraph

B.C. couple attacked with acid, slashed with knife in Vietnam

Warning, graphic images: Man has burns on 80 per cent of his body, slashed with knife

Northern B.C. First Nation clan says ancient tools found at pipeline work site

Archeologists from the Smithsonian Institute estimate one of the stones found dates back up to 3500 years

Most Read