REAL IDEAS

“I want to help fix     
the big issues.”

SOLVE THE MAJOR ROADS CRISIS IN WILLOUGHBY

ISSUE TO SOLVE

We have to solve the major roads crisis in Willoughby. It just can’t go on any longer. People can’t get around. Kids can’t even walk or bike to school safely. We are losing hours of our lives just trying to get around. We have to fix it.

Residents in Brookswood, for example, waste hours of their lives getting to the freeway, and we have residents in Walnut Grove driving to Maple Ridge and Surrey to shop because they can't get through Willoughby.

We actually have five of these in Willoughby: 208th Street, 72nd Avenue, 80th Avenue, 202nd Street, and 200th Street is not even finished. We open the 216th Street interchange and build a new high school, but don't plan for 80th Avenue or 202nd Street properly for current and new residents, and kids, to get around. The situation has to be fixed.

SOLUTION

  • Right now, only a small number of developers bear the burden of the major roads, and we have to wait for them to develop, regardless of the desperate need.

    We need to shift the burden to all developers not just the unlucky few, build the major roads now, and all developers pay us back over time, with interest. Not a penny paid by the taxpayer.

  • Remove the current incentive for developers with major road frontage to hold off, and force the taxpayer to buy their road frontage, and then develop, which some are now doing.

  • Use the same model we are already using for greenways in a neighbourhood plan, sharing the burden amongst all, reimbursed over time, and roads get built when they are needed, and no one can holdout waiting for the taxpayer to pay.

    This is only way the roads will get done, since the cost to to the taxpayers will be hundreds of millions to do it, or we wait a decade or more for it get resolved, because it is not just 208th Street, but 5 major roads half-finished. This will fix it.

A REAL PLAN FOR PRIVATE INVESTMENT INTO ALDERGROVE

ISSUE TO SOLVE

After years of inaction and excuses, we are not seeing renewal in downtown Aldergrove.

We have a great, progressive Aldergrove Core Plan that is not seeing any progress, even though there is development everywhere else.

Currently, with Willowbrook parking requirements that are obsolete and prevent the creation of a truly new, walkable community, it is virtually impossible to develop a smaller lot. There is no incentive to proceed with nothing else underway.

A sense of hopelessness and negativity sets in. Yet, there is great opportunity in Aldergrove despite problems, like it was in Fort Langley 15 years ago, which is now more vibrant and desirable than it has ever been. It can be done.

SOLUTION

Don't blame private property owners, or do nothing, but start to fix the economics of development:

  • Establish new innovative parking solutions to ensure we create a great walkable commercial area, designed for people, not cars, that will finally allow smaller lots to develop

  • Reduce parking requirements now knowing it will be solved, since it will take years for a building to get approved and built before some of the shared parking is needed. Jumpstart the process now, with a sense of urgency and commitment to a new, innovation direction

  • Establish a new Community Amenity Contribution (CAC) for the Aldergrove core area from the constant development in other parts of the Township of Langley to fund capital improvements in Aldergrove that will make a real difference, such as shared parking and streetscape improvements

  • Exempt the Aldergrove core area from most additional development fees, offer Development Cost Charges credits where possible, and complete tedious development prerequisites in advance that slow things down, such as traffic impact studies

THE FUTURE OF BROOKSWOOD / FERNRIDGE

ISSUE TO SOLVE

We are going to repeat the same mistakes in Willoughby regarding missing road infrastructure, not building truly mixed-use walkable neighbourhoods, and removal of existing significant trees to start over within most developments.

We are also developing the Fernridge area under two Official Community Plans, which is the opposite of a sound planning process. We are also accelerating the neighbourhood planning process for three neighbourhood plans at the same time, which I do not agree with.

And as the developed Brookswood area has older homes replaced, too many significant trees are being removed, when it is not necessary to do so, affecting the unique character of Brookswood.

THE SOLUTION

  • Change the model we are using for major roads in Willoughby, which isn't working, and has now caused a major roads crisis there. Right now, only a small number of developers bear the burden of the major roads, and we have to wait for them to develop, regardless of the desperate need.

    We need to shift the burden to all developers not just the unlucky few, build the major roads now, and all developers pay us back over time, with interest. Not a penny paid by the taxpayer.

  • We get one neighbourhood plan completed before starting another, with the possible exception of two that are directly adjacent to the developed Brookswood area.

    Doing three at the same time is not what we have done in Willoughby, and there is no reason to do that in Fernridge. Good neighbourhood planning takes time.

  • We finally adopt a common sense tree protection bylaw similar to Surrey's, which has a working balance between private property rights and the practical need for construction, renovations, and septic fields, with acknowledgement of the real impact tree removal and unnecessary pruning can have on neighbouring property values, and quality of life.

PRESERVING FARMLAND AND RURAL CHARACTER

ISSUE TO SOLVE

Preserving farmland from exclusion from the Agricultural Land Reserve (the "ALR"), ensuring it is available for future generations for food production.

We have a lot to be thankful for in rural Langley, most of all our rich farmland and river systems, which is the lifeblood of our community's character, and uniqueness. We must preserve our rural character, which means not allowing urban-style subdivisions on farmland.

THE SOLUTION

  • Not allow removal of rural land from the Agricultural Land Reserve (the "ALR"), or doing anything that motivates speculation on the potential development of farmland, as some try to chip away at its margins. I cannot think of one exception I would support, for the removal of land from the ALR.

  • Not allow urban-style subdivisions within the ALR, such as Hyde Cannon ("Tuscan Farms") in Salmon River, even if the land is not technically removed from the ALR.

  • We must locate our increasing population on urban land, and not allow for any additional sprawl into our rural areas. Sprawl creates bad neighbourhoods designed for cars, increases the cost of municipal services and infrastructure meaning higher taxes for all, and destroys precious rural character that can never be restored.

  • I will help protect farmland. Wherever I can. Whenever I can.

BETTER PLANNING, LIVABILITY & AFFORDABILITY

ISSUE TO SOLVE

Too often, we are not placing our residential density should go.

We are not building mixed-use neighbourhoods, by allowing some developers to ignore basic urban planning principles, which will have permanent ramifications for all of us, for decades.

THE SOLUTION

  • We must build mixed-use neighbourhoods, not commercial-only districts or blocks, especially in the heart of Willoughby, and not allow developers to build whatever they want. This needs become the norm, not the exception.

  • Council needs to take a larger leadership role in not allowing this to continue, currently planned within the Williams Neighbourhood Plan, we are on the verge of approving yet another single-story strip mall, this time next to farmland, at 216th and 80th. We need stop this kind of development, based on freeways, not real neighbourhoods.

  • Require better planning, based on obvious planning principles, for future generations. Decisions we make today will determine Langley's character for decades, and we must get it right.

PUBLIC CONSULTATION

ISSUE TO SOLVE

Currently, residents aren't officially notified of a development near them until a few weeks before a public hearing, and by that time the developer and staff have been working on it for up to two years in come cases. Resistance to changes is high, and often the public has little time to research and review a proposal to confirm how their interests in property may be affected.

Developers and the business community often have to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to get Council, and before the public even sees the proposal. Little public input, if any, is solicited at the start of project when feedback can be incorporated more easily, and for less cost.

THE SOLUTION

  • Let's speed up the process for a political approval, and only then consume planning staff, architect and consultant time working out the engineering and final details, which cost a lot of money and time, after real public input and Council approval.

  • Let's focus technical staff's detailed time on approved projects, not maybes, saving taxpayers money on processing applications that may or may not get approved.

  • We can save the business community time and money, and, in return, ask developers do better on public and Council feedback at a stage when changes don't cost as much, and agree to a new Community Amenity Contribution for Aldergrove, and social infrastructure we need, like a new seniors centre in North Langley, for example.

  • If we can confirm a reformed, transparent political approval process, as a Council and public we can work together to catch and fix big mistakes, such as removing the mixed-use residential from Willoughby Town Centre, as happened this past term, not have to do that after potentially years of staff time .

ALL ISSUES MATTER

All issues, big and small, matter to me, whether it is a boat launch in Fort Langley, an intersection, or traffic calming. All issues matter, and deserve attention, just as the big issues do.

KEEPIN' IT REAL

As a Councillor, if elected, there is really only so much that I can do. But what I can do: get to work to fix the major roads crisis in Willoughby, fight to still get it right in Brookswood/Fernridge, and get a Real Plan for Aldergrove! Yup, that we can do.