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Council Update - June 12, 2023

Council had a marathon day at Township Hall on Monday, June 12th. Our Council Process Committee (CPC) meeting began at 12 noon, with the Regular Meeting of Council beginning at 1:30 and the Public Hearing beginning at 7:00 PM. The final speaker at the Public Hearing finished around 10:20, so it was a very full but productive day. Because this update will definitely be on the longer side, I will send out a separate update for the Public Hearing portion of the meeting next week.

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Council Process Committee

Council Process Committee meetings are held when there are issues that require even more discussion than usual before we can reach a decision. So far this term, there has been one CPC meeting to discuss the changes to the Election Signs Bylaw (I’ll discuss that in another update soon to come), and now after Monday we’ve now had our second. This time it was to discuss Councillor vanPopta’s Motion regarding permitted construction hours. With her Motion, she was seeking to extend the hours on Saturdays that construction noise would be permitted on construction sites in Willoughby, Brookswood, and Aldergrove.

By allowing noise earlier in the day, the logic is that projects could be finished earlier and red tape at Township Hall would be reduced further by no longer requiring a special exemption permit for concrete pours outside of permitted hours. After a full hour of sometimes testy debate and discussion, the portion of the Motion which would extend the hours was taken out and will not be coming back to Council, while the portion that would eliminate the requirement for a special permit for concrete pours will be on our agenda for the June 26th meeting. Only Councillor Martens was still in opposition to the latter.

Regular Meeting of Council

Delegations & Reports

Once we got to the Regular Meeting of Council, there were 4 Delegations and 9 Reports to Council. Delegates included the Langley Pos-Abilities Society, a group looking to construct a permanent memorial at the Derek Doubleday Arboretum to the children who never came home from Residential Schools, as well as two proponents of applications on the agenda. Among the Reports were several requests for funding, these included:

  • payment of $32,056.57 for the balance of the 2023 property taxes for the parking lot owned by the Langley Memorial Hospital Foundation, to be funded from the Council Contingency fund,

  • the use of $50,000 from the Sanitary DCC Fund and $25,000 from the Water DCC Fund for the creation of a utility servicing plan for the Salmon River Uplands,

  • $250,000 for 2023 from the Capital Projects Reserve and $125,000 for 2023 from the Growing Communities Fund (the Province of BC’s grant to supplement the existing funding allocations for the completion of a covered structure and enhanced accessibility pathways at the Willoughby Community Park Bocce Courts.

  • the use of up to $550,000 from the Water Capital Works Reserve Fund for the decommissioning of Fort Langley Well 2, Brookswood Well 7, Brookswood Well 9, Brookswood Well 10, Murrayville Well 1, and Murrayville Well 2. These decommissionings are Provincially mandated to occur within 5 years of the wells being shut off and mean that residents who would have been receiving water from these wells will now be receiving water from Metro Vancouver.

We also received an update on the 2023 and 2024 Mosquito Control Programs, which are important issues for a lot of residents, especially those in Fort Langley and the rest of North Langley.

ALC/Rural Lands Applications

Berezan Management (Farms) Ltd. – 25928 16 Avenue

The first of the significant applications we discussed and voted on was whether or not to refer an application to build a new shrimp aquaculture facility and convert the old non-functioning facility into a cold-storage facility. The issue with the application was that our Township bylaws and the ALC regulations say that 50 percent of any cold storage facility’s capacity must be used for product that’s made on the same property, and this application did not meet this threshold. The application was not referred to the ALC, and the applicant must come back with a new proposal if they wish to proceed.

Chapter Estates Winery – 1268 216 Street

This application was on our agenda previously, but Council had deferred a decision on it in order to gather more information prior to a vote. Those Councillors who had concerns were able to meet with the proponent, discussed the changes that they wanted to see, and the application came back on our agenda on June 12th. All the major concerns were addressed, and the application was passed.

Development Applications

Community Amenity Contributions (CAC)

Before getting into the various development applications on the agenda, here’s the summary of the money that will be collected from the new applications approved at this meeting:

Base CACs: $9,747,800 (Zenterra)

Additional CACs based on new Council policy regarding density bonuses: $6,668,833.60 (Zenterra)

Zenterra – Latimer Multi-Family – 7687 200 Street

This is one of the largest applications we’ve dealt with so far. Despite the 200 Street 2040 plan still in the planning process, we’re already seeing builders respond to the new direction that Council has indicated it wants to see along the Willoughby stretch of 200th Street. Specifically, this is higher density that is more supportive of rapid transit and a new Downtown. This application included an OCP Amendment and Rezoning application to permit the construction of 805 apartment units and 62 townhomes. This is a big transition from the original application for 187 townhomes and 242 apartments, which has resulted in the significant increase in CAC contributions.

The reason these CACs are so critical is because they will be placed in reserve funds that will enable us to service debt that is taken on in order to pay for the many capital projects that have been proposed by this Council. The CAC payments that are used to service any debt mean that property taxes do not have to be used as is normally the case, therefore keeping any proposed tax increases as low as possible.

S H Latimer Development Ltd. – Latimer Single-Family – 7538 202A Street

This application for 14 semi-detached lots and 27 single-family homes just south of RE Mountain Secondary School was referred back to staff to work with the proponent on a new form, character and density. This is due to the site’s proximity to 200th Street and future rapid transit, which requires a level of density that is more supportive of these types of public goods.

Kasian Architecture – Brookswood (Booth) Mixed-Use – 3321 200 Street

This application has been in the works for 6 years, but due to the ongoing Brookswood-Fernridge Neighbourhood Planning process plus its nonconformity to the 2017 Official Community Plan, the application was deferred until after the Neighbourhood Planning process is completed.

Cannabis Application

4Twenty Cannabis – 2426 200 Street

Despite this application meeting all the relevant criteria per our Council Policy for retail cannabis applications, the application was deferred until after the completion of the Brookswood-Fernridge Neighbourhood Planning process.

Bylaw Amendments

Development Cost Charge Waiver for Non-Profit Housing

Previously, for-profit developers could receive significant savings on crucial Development Cost Charges (DCCs) in return for providing marginally affordable units for 20 years in their projects. Per Council direction, a new policy came forward for our approval that brought the following significant changes:

  • introduced a definition specific to the Township of Langley for “Below-Market Dwelling Unit” to ensure eligible households are not paying more than 30% of before tax income on housing costs on these new units,

  • a requirement that all units receiving a waiver must be maintained under the terms of the

  • Bylaw in perpetuity as opposed to only for 20 years,

  • provision of DCC waivers for Below-Market Dwelling Units to for-profit applicants on a

  • per-unit basis instead of for the entire project,

  • removal of for-profit waiver eligibility for market strata and market rental units that will be owned and leased by individuals or a for-profit company.

These changes mean that moving forward, only truly affordable projects led by non-profits will be able to be major beneficiaries of reduced or eliminated DCCs.

Bicycle Parking and Facility Requirements

These changes were requested by Council in order to ‘right-size’ the amount of end-of-trip facilities that developers provide in their projects while providing the option to provide cash in-lieu of facilities. This cash would be put into a Cycling Infrastructure Improvements Fund that will be put towards expanding cycling infrastructure throughout the Township. Some of the changes include:

  • amended amount of secure bicycle parking space per apartment dwelling unit,

  • allowance for secure bicycle parking storage on any level below grade,

  • restructuring the amount of bicycle parking space for Industrial uses, required lockers, and end-of-trip facilities; and

  • introduction of a 25% cash-in-lieu option contributing to off-site cycling infrastructure

  • through a Cycling Infrastructure Improvements Fund.

Strategic Land Loan Authorization

As part of some of the major priorities of this Council, borrowing will be required. This borrowing will be made through the Municipal Finance Authority and paid back through various means. In accordance with the Community Charter, the Township will be going to the public to receive approval to borrow $38.38 million through what is called an ‘Alternative Approval Process’. The details of the bylaw are as follows:

That Council provide an Alternative Approval Process, in accordance with

Section 86 of the Community Charter, for Strategic Land Loan Authorization

Bylaw No. 5893 as outlined in items (a) to (e) below with respect to the

Alternative Approval Process.

a) Elector responses shall be in the form set out in Attachment “A”.

b) The deadline for the submission of elector responses forms shall be

4:30 PM on Thursday, September 28, 2023 (the “Deadline”).

c) The Township Clerk is authorized to prepare an Alternative Approval which must be published once each week for two consecutive weeks with the second publication being at least 30 days before the deadline.

Brookswood-Fernridge Neighbourhood Community Plans

In perhaps the most consequential vote of the evening, Council decided to refer back to staff the three draft plans for further work based on the public feedback we’ve received over the last couple of months. The language of the referral, with a couple of amendments, was as follows:

  1. Revert and reinstate the land use designation of Single Family 4 to Single Family 2 and associated densities of 10,000 sf2 per single family lot for the future Glenwood Neighbourhood Plan area, as outlined within the Brookswood-Fernridge Community Plan Adopted in 2017,

  2. Revert and reinstate the land use designation from Single Family 4 to Single Family 2 and associated densities of 10,000 sf2 per single family lot for areas within the proposed Fernridge Neighbourhood Plan south of 24th Avenue and not within close proximity to 200th Street, except within close proximity to the Agricultural Land Reserve,

  3. Update the proposed designation of Single Family 1 adjacent to the City of Surrey to Single Family 2 and associated densities of 10,000 sf2 per single family lot,

  4. Update the proposed single-family designations within close proximity to urban/rural boundaries at the Agricultural Land Reserve to associated densities of 7,000 sf2 and 10,000 sf2 per single family lot, as it may be appropriate for Council to consider,

  5. Update the proposed designations along 200th Street between 33A and 20th Avenues to an updated a mix of rowhome and/or townhome development, and commercial development, to accommodate some additional single-family densities of 7,000 and 10,000 sf2 per single family lots elsewhere, as it may be appropriate for Council to consider,

  6. Update the currently proposed Rinn Neighbourhood Plan to include additional mixed-use Commercial Village on the east side of 208th Street from 40th Avenue to 42nd Avenue, in addition to the proposed townhouse uses at this location, as it may be appropriate for Council to consider,

  7. Amend the proposed designation of Single Family 3 to Manufactured Home Park for the Cedar Creek Estates manufactured home park within the Booth Neighbourhood Plan at the northwest corner of 200th Street and 30th Avenue to align with the designations of the four other manufactured home parks within the Fernridge Neighbourhood Plan; and

  8. Amend the proposed Community Amenity Contributions Council Policy 07-166: to include within the Community Amenity Contribution Fund an anticipated quantity of land acquisitions for civic purposes needed due to growth throughout the Township of Langley as it may be appropriate for Council to consider; and to update Section 5.2(f) for additional residential density of Townhouse / Rowhouse / Duplex and/or Single-Family units to cash amounts closer to market value, as it may be appropriate for Council to consider; and to include a Community Police Office within Brookswood-Fernridge to the Community Amenity Contribution Fund as a listed community amenity.

  9. Prescribe pervious surfaces and finishes for non-vehicle spaces, such as sidewalks, multi-use pathways, trails, and greenways, public squares and the like, both on public and private property (all residential, commercial, and institutional land uses) and on streetscapes throughout the Brookswood-Fernridge Neighbourhood Plans, as may be practical to appropriate for Council to consider; and, identify and incorporate design and material standards as part of the Engineering Services Plan for the Neighbourhood Plans in order to facilitate this desired outcome.

New drafts of the three neighbourhood plans will come back to Council before the end of the Summer for another vote.

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