The Township of Langley’s planning department, along with consultants from Modus, have been hard at work driving the public engagement portion of the OCP update process for Brookswood and Fernridge. Last night (April 12, 2017) they hosted the last of 9 public workshops aimed at collecting community input on housing design for the multi-family component of the new plan.
The workshop attendees were split into small groups, each facilitated by a member of TOL planning staff and/or a consultant from Modus. The goal was to discuss desires, share ideas and explore concerns relating to the form, character and design of the future apartment, townhome and rowhome housing in Brookswood-Fernridge. This feedback will be compiled and used to drive the creation of a preferred land use concept. Planning staff indicated this preferred land use concept will be presented at the next public open house scheduled for May 16th at the George Preston Rec Centre at 20699 42 Avenue.
A number of weeks ago a survey was sent to the community to collect additional feedback on the three land use concepts (shown below) presented at the public open house on March 7th. The response was an overwhelming 500 completed surveys. One question in the survey that garnered a very blunt objection was the notion of apartment buildings with up to 6 storeys. Modus explained that while most of the survey responses felt open-minded, it was clear the community was not interested in more than 4 storeys. When asked a question regarding height limits last night, one Modus consultant noted they have unofficially capped the building height at 4 storeys.
The other two major take-aways from the workshop came during the Q&A session at the end of the evening. Planning staff clarified that the OCP update process that they are currently working through is a higher level plan and more detailed planning for smaller neighbourhoods (ie. neighbourhood concept plans) is going to be required. A follow-up question was then raised regarding phasing of future development and Planning staff indicated they have yet to have that conversation with Council.
We will reach a point as we near the end of the OCP update process where the in-process development applications may get caught between the 1987 plan and the new plan. Planning indicated it’s unclear how this will be handled by Council.
Furthermore, if neighbourhood concept plans are the next step following the OCP update, history would dictate this could very well delay development in Brookswood.
For more information on the Brookswood-Fernridge OCP update visit the Township of Langley’s website here: tol.ca/brfrcp