Here are three important questions that weren’t asked
Should Sports and Recreations facilities
be built in centralized locations or closer to where people live?
Let’s just say it upfront.
Building 4 artificial turf fields in one location, specialized for one sport, close to the edge of the Township, does not make sense.
It may get you the use of their email list for your campaign, but artificial turf fields and tracks should go to every high school in the Township. We should be working with the school board to utilize land you the taxpayer already own.
Elevate Langley doesn’t believe we need to spend money to buy land when fields at schools are underutilized. As much as possible elementary schools should host the sports that their students participate in, Young families know the school is at the heart of their community. Why should you drive across town to play soccer or baseball? Especially when it’s more affordable to build those facilities at your school.
Elevate Langley is also taking a closer look at Arts, Culture and Dance to see what common sense solutions can be implemented there.
The Township of Langley is a community of unique communities.
If elected will you maintain this?
You can’t stop change, but Elevate Langely will work to protect the character of our communities.
Population growth can’t be stopped. That much we know. The population of Canada is growing and the population of British Columbia is increasing along with it. Metro Vancouver has a Regional Growth Strategy in place. It has allocated population growth to Langley. We can’t close the doors.
Over the last 40 years, most of the Township’s growth has been in the Walnut Grove and Willoughby communities. They were natural choices because they were sparsely populated to begin with.
When you look at the changes that have been proposed for Fort Langley’s Glover Road it represents a departure from the past. Is that what’s needed? Is that the direction we should take?
As growth approaches existing communities like Bookswood, for example, we need to find ways to protect the Langely we love and build the future we want. This is more important now than it ever has been before.
The Elevate Langely team will be more active in the community than previous councils. They are successful young professionals and half of them are raising families. Together they will be better able to bring your point of view to the discussions and decisions at the council table.
Are slates good or bad?
There are many points of view and opinions on this topic.
The reality is that it depends on the people.
Council is essentially the Board of Directors for the Township.
If the board is constantly playing politics and individual members are trying to promote their own careers the board doesn’t produce consistent decisions and it becomes difficult for the municipal staff to operate effectively. This also negatively impacts long-term planning.
Council meetings become draining for everyone in and around them.
This state of affairs is a description of the Township’s recent past. It needs to change.
The positive impact of a well-chosen slate is that they are a team that works together. They are also able to effectively pool their resources and move through large workloads effiicently.
A slate can agree to disagree and then heartily debate their individual points of view, but Elevate Langley will always return to the commitments they campaigned on to guide them as they move forward. Our team will always have full input and a free vote on issues.
There should be one person on a slate who is the acknowledged leader, In this case, it is Rich Coleman. It is his responsibility to act as mentor and referee if required. Rich Coleman has 25 years of political experience. He is invested in seeing the Elevate Langley councillors succeed because he personally helped to select them.
Here Are The
A Better Langley Questions
Prepared by Brad Richert
Do you believe growth pays for growth in the Township of Langley? Explain.
In some cases yes, in some cases no.
Going forward an Elevate Langley council will ensure that growth does pay for growth.
That can mean a number of different things from housing that is affordable or housing affordability for our vulnerable citizens, all the way to more parks and recreation amenities to improved infrastructure.
The Township of Langley is a community of unique communities and the people will need to be involved to discover the best path forward for their area. What is right for Willoughby isn’t necessarily right for Brookswood.
It is important to mention that growth is not something we get to choose as a municipality.
The population of Metro Vancouver and Canada are increasing. There is a Regional Growth Strategy that sets out the expectations for population growth in each of Metro Vancouver’s local municipalities.
A number of 1-1.5 storey strip malls with significant surface parking were approved in the last 5 years. Is this the style of development you see as resilient, economical, and sustainable? Do you support the further development of such projects?
If it fits within the zoning for the area it is difficult to say no. Property owners have rights.
Having said that, it’s not sustainable to have too many projects like the ones you describe being built.
Elevate Langley will encourage parking and alternative energy – like solar panels – on rooftops. They are underutilized spaces. We need to fully utilize them in innovative ways.
The Township currently has several of its first high rises under construction in Willoughby. Recently, an application for a 45-storey tower was also submitted, but has not yet moved forward. Do you believe such high rises are appropriate in Willoughby?
Elevate Langley does not support the existing proposal for the additional 45-storey tower in Willoughby.
There is an old saying: “never say never.” If a proposal for a tower comes through that makes sense and has the support of the local community we will consider it.
Over Seventy-Five Percent of the land in the Township of Langley is in the Agricultural Land Reserve. The average in Metro Vancouver is Nineteen percent. Almost all of the municipalities in Metro Vancouver and Abbotsford have multiple towers.
Higher density in Langley is suggested as a means to increase housing affordability, pay for amenities/infrastructure and protect ALR land. Agree or disagree? Explain.
This is a multi-faceted question.
With Elevate Langley it won’t cost anything to protect the Agricultural Land Reserve. It is not a land bank for development – period.
Agree – there is no question that density can improve housing affordability and create affordable – below-market – housing units. Elevate Langley is proposing a mix of innovative solutions in this area. We will also continue to be aware of and investigate best practices as municipalities around the globe struggle with this complex problem.
Historically the Township has had many families that prefer to live on acreages. Younger families simply can’t afford that. Also, many families now prefer townhomes and condo living where the maintenance and repairs are taken care of by the strata.
The reality is that people moving to Langley have much different expectations than they did 50 years ago. This is also true of the people who were born and raised in Langley and are now starting families of their own here.
It also takes density to sustain walkable communities, and not to mention it takes density to convince Translink to provide additional transit services, which we desperately need.
Finally, the Development Cost Charges should pay for the infrastructure upgrades and amenity improvements. Please see question 1 above
In the past term, the Township adopted a new Tree Protection Bylaw in 2019, which was further updated in 2021 following recommendations from the Tree Protection Advisory Committee. Do you believe that Langley is going too far or not far enough in protecting our trees?
Yes, The Township is NOT going far enough.
Yes, the Township is going too far.
Increasing tree canopy is a worthwhile goal that should be pursued for a variety of important reasons. On the other hand, the Tree Protection Bylaw is going against another important goal – affordable housing. This is a situation that needs some common sense. We can work towards both objectives together. It is possible.
In past terms, Council has generally recommended most ALR-exclusion or non-farm usage applications to the ALC, often for suburban residential or industrial development with some sort of community benefit in exchange. Is this a practice you agree with? Why or why not? Are there any examples you believe that property should be excluded from the ALR?
Elevate Langley will protect the Agricultural Land Reserve. It is not a land bank for development. Period.
The Agricultural Land Commission as the statutory authority can make cha anges to the Agricultural Land Reserve if there is a net benefit for farming. That is very rare.
Do you believe that the Township of Langley should official adopt Vision Zero? If so, what would be some specific ideas of the program you would like to see implemented over the next 4 years?
It would be a mistake to assume the Township of Langley staff have not been working towards similar objectives.
Vision Zero increases traffic safety standards to a very high level. It aims to achieve the shared goals of zero traffic fatalities and zero severe traffic injuries.
It also recognizes that people (drivers & pedestrians) make mistakes and it holds the road network and municipality accountable for those mistakes.
It is definitely a worthy goal and the first step should be to sit down with ICBC and the RCMP. This is not a project that the Township can achieve on its own.
Traffic is a common complaint in several neighbourhoods of Langley. Where do you see this issue being the greatest problem and what are some solutions our local government can provide?
That is correct, traffic congestion is increasing in many areas of the Township. Since 2001, there are over 40,000 more people living in the Township of Langley. AND there is an increase in people travelling through the Township as well.
Each traffic bottleneck has its own solution. On 208th for example it is well past time for the Township to allocate funds and upgrade the older 2-lane sections. Waiting until the neighbouring properties develop and then completing the roadway is creating congestion that we don’t need.
The associated costs could then be recovered by charging developers ‘latecomer fees’ when the properties develop.
Elevate Langley will take action on this immediately upon becoming elected.
It is also well past time to sit down with the Ministry of Transportation and Highways to implement interim solutions that improve traffic flow around the 264th highway exchange.
There is a long-term plan in place for this interchange, but we can’t wait. The current situation is unacceptable to residents.
This will be of the first calls Elevate Langely makes.
Sixteenth Avenue is another roadway that needs immediate solutions.
It needs more turning lanes and stacking lanes while we look for a longer-term solution.
We need to continue to invest in and improve the Fraser Highway. This will have to be in consultation with the communities along the route. Particularly Aldergrove where the highway is central to the community’s downtown.
A lack of parking is a significant issue in some of Langley’s neighbourhoods. Yet, in other areas, there is an overabundance of half-empty parking lots in other areas. Do you have any ideas to improve either of these issues? Do you support parking minimums in new development?
Another multifaceted question.
There is no question that there was a shortage of parking in some recent developments.
There is also no question that going back a few decades n the ToL land was cheap and retail centres could afford large parking lots.
This brings us to today. You can’t force the owners of those older retail centres to redevelop, although someday in the Township’s not-too-distant future is reasonable to expect that redevelopment will happen.
As Aldergrove knows sometimes it takes longer than some people would like.
Elevate Langley will keep an eye on the future and consider how the areas should redevelop. Mainly because many of these sprawling parking lots are at the center of the original design for the communities’ shopping area. Housing was built around them.
Yes, Elevate Langley supports minimum parking in new developments. Too little parking is frustrating for residents, visitors, and customers if it’s a commercial development.
There is a school of thought that limiting parking will force people to innovate and use other means of transportation, but it is best to let larger population, higher-density municipalities go first on this experiment.
In 2014, the WalkScore organization rated the Township of Langley a score of 39. In 2022, it was down to 33: “Langley is a Car-Dependent City”. Why do you believe this is? Do you believe Langley should be less car dependent? What sort of policies would you support to reverse this trend?
Walkscore is a US-based organization. Their assessment of the Township of Langley isn’t as accurate as it could be. The decline in score that is referred to in the question above simply doesn’t make any sense and there is no background data provided to support their conclusion. None.
The Township of Langley should be designing its own standards. We must remember that 75% of the land in the Township is in the Agricultural Land Reserve. (ALR) An American rating system can not understand the ALR.
Yes, Langley is car-dependent – it was built that way starting years ago and still in the not-too-distant past it was a rural community with a small urban population.
The more recently developed areas of town are less car-dependent than before, but there are still many improvements that can be made as we move forward. This will be top of mind for Elevate Langely,
Every neighbourhood plan and community plan should consider walkability and transit options. It’s important to include safe pedestrian infrastructure for biking and walking, and to have close proximity to schools and recreation, they also have to have a large enough community population to support local businesses.
The Township of Langley is a community of communities each having their own opportunity to improve in their own way.
For example, what works in Willoughby isn’t necessarily the best solution for Brookswood.
A policy-driven response may not be the best answer. A strategy with benchmarks seems to be a more appropriate approach for a community of communities like the Township. An Elevate Langley council will improve community engagement and get residents involved in the discussion.
MAYOR BONUS: The Township of Langley is part of several regional governance organizations, such as Metro Vancouver and Translink, and has some important neighbours (ie Abbotsford, Surrey and the City of Langley). Do you believe we currently have a positive relationship with these entities? In reference to these organizations and municipalities, what do you believe should be improved to benefit the residents of the Township?
I have had great relationships with the municipalities in Metro Vancouver. As a provincial cabinet minister for almost 20 years I have had the opportunity to work with all of them.
I believe that the South of the Fraser communities have not been getting their fair share of the benefits from Metro Vancouver. As your mayor, I will work to reverse this trend.
MAYOR BONUS: How do you define leadership in relation to local governance? Briefly provide 2-3 examples of times where you’ve shown leadership in business and/or public office.
Leadership anywhere in life is doing what’s right for the people you represent. It’s about protecting the best of what’s already in place and creating the future people want.
As Willoughby was growing the original discussion was to expand the aging RE Mountain high school. As MLA I led a partnership with the School Board, Municipality and the Provincial Ministries of Education and Finance to build a brand new RE Mountain High School and renovate the original school into a middle school that was renamed. It was a complicated deal that achieved a great result. The new RE Mountain high school is amazing
I would also like to mention the leadership I provided as the Langley Events Centre went from just a concept to a completed project. Along the way, many new elements were incorporated to create a multi-use facility that is the envy of other municipalities in the Lower Mainland.
The 216th interchange wasn’t going to get done if the Township the Province and the Federal Government couldn’t get focused on the solution. I facilitated an agreement that worked for all parties and helped them get the funding organized.
NOTE: as the Minister of LNG I also led the process for the largest private investment in Canadian history which is the LNG facility in Kitimat. It will provide clean fuel replacing coal-burning power plants in Asia.