Inside Langford

News and views about Langford, British Columbia

“It’s going to be an exciting community to live in.”

Posted by Steven Hurdle on September 18, 2008

At Monday night’s Langford Council meeting, a proposed development at 3326 and 3328 Happey Valley Road came up for public hearing. This had previously been discussed by a committee. The two lots are proposed to be turned into a nine-lot subdivision.

Previously the discussion had centred around the developer’s concerns about potentially losing one of the 9 units if he had to put in a connection to the Galloping Goose. The new plan does indeed have the subdivision being connected to the Goose and nine units, however.

While some of the citizens that had been at the committee meeting were in attendance, most of the discussion in front of Langford Council was with Happey Valley resident Geoff Hadley. He expressed his concern that rezoning the property from “Greenbelt Residential” to “Residential Small Lot” did not serve the good of the community. “If this one’s approved, we’ll see similar applications from Marwood, South.”

Mr. Hadley also argued that with all the new development already greenlit, that there was no need for more at this time. “We’ve got Westhills coming along, and Skirt Mountain, and that should provide sufficient accomodation for about 15 years or so. The real estate bubble appears to have burst, and this development is something you may need 20 years in the future.”

Mr. Hadley questioned whether replacing larger lots with smaller lots was a good long-term strategy. “We might have people looking at the large lots, and saying ‘I wish I had something like that so I could grow my own food.’ ”

The resident suggested that this kind of piecemeal development was “willy nilly.” Langford City Planner Matthew Baldwin, responding to a request from Deputy Mayor Denise Blackwell, assured Council that the development proposal was “consistent with the South Langford neighbourhood plan.”

Mayor Stew Young argued that “these properties will be contributing towards buying farmland,” referring to Langford Council’s plans to remove all land in Langford from the Agricultural Land Reserve.

Mr. Hadley’s parting comments to the committee was half olive-branch, half-challenge. “Stand up and be counted, the election’s coming in a few months time, and I think people will be looking to councillors who oppose this.”

Mayor Young argued in favour of the development on the basis of what the new development might offer prospective new residents of Langford, even if some current residents don’t want the community to change in this regard. “We’re trying to make sure we look at all areas of Langford for affordability and accessibility. They’re kind of a niche market for people, who perhaps are buying their first house. We’ve tried to make sure every development contributes something that people in Langford want.”

Mayor Young’s final comment highlighted the underlying difference between him and many local residents who love the neighbourhoods they live in. “You’ll see some changes in Happy Valley, and it’s going to be an exciting community to live in.”

Steven Hurdle

6 Responses to ““It’s going to be an exciting community to live in.””

  1. Kristina Vanlierop said

    “We’ve got Westhills coming along, and Skirt Mountain, and that should provide sufficient accomodation for about 15 years or so. The real estate bubble appears to have burst, and this development is something you may need 20 years in the future.”

    This is a very astute observation.

    According to the Regional Growth Strategy and quoted in the opening pages of Langford’s new OCP :
    ” …the RGS has planned for Langford to absorb 22,000 new people in approximately 11,035 new homes [by 2026]” It goes on to say: ” In 2008, some 22,000 new units, or 200% of long term housing forecasts, were in various states of approvals…” ( Langford OCP 2008 Part 1).

    Now, I realize that not all these units have or will be built. However, they have already approved twice the amount of dwellings needed for Langford for 20 years from now??

    Now consider that Westhills will be at approx.6000 units at full build-out and Bear Mountain is looking at another 3500 dwellings on the South side, how far do we have to go to meet the 11,035. Not to mention the 4 Quigg towers coming ( one is 45 stories high) and add on all the high density building going in ( beside Millstream Village) etc.

    Am I missing something here? Why the rush to reach…no, double the RGS recommendation…20 years early??
    I am open to any suggestions on having an accurate understanding of this.

  2. Ryan Hinton said

    Mayor Young’s final comment: “You’ll see some changes in Happy Valley, and it’s going to be an exciting community to live in.” I absolutely agree that with continued development in Happy Valley, it will be an exciting community, just as the Spencer Road interchange was exciting.

  3. Herman said

    Did anbody remember to ask the people in the Happy Valley community if they considered THEIR community un-exciting, and if THEY wanted it to change?

  4. Jes said

    No one ever asked me. I told them anyways but it seems they didn’t care what I had say. That’s the trouble with ideologues. I like the way the Happy Valley community is, or was anyways. It’s got character. It’s interstitial. It’s a transition zone between the suburban and the rural. That’s why I moved here. I like the people. Unfortunatly alot of them are planning on moving because they see their community being destroyed by inevitable development. If I wanted to live in a cookie cutter suburb there is no shortage of them around to choose from.

  5. Ryan Hinton said

    I am sure most people in Happy Valley are like Jes and enjoy living there. The problem is each community in Langford is unique, but Langford Council treats them all the same, trying to develop as much as possible.

    One way to remedy this could be to elect councillors based on neighbourhood constituencies, rather than from the municipality at large. This would make councillors much more accountable to their constituents.

    Langford could be devided into six constituencies. Luxton, Happy Valley, and Wallfred would be an ideal constituency.

  6. Heather Scott said

    I moved to Langford because it had bigger lots and taller trees than most other places in Greater Victoria. I don’t remember voting for changing all that. I don’t ever remember any of the winning candidates putting “I will work to filling Langford with tall skinny houses on tiny lots,” on any of their election flyers.

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