Tuesday, 4 March 2014


Those of you who live in Langley Township are doubtless aware of recent proposals that the Brookswood-Fernridge  area of South Langley be redeveloped . This was something that I know  would have an impact on wooded areas but I didn't really have a good handle on the issue.I am still working to educate myself. Then over the weekend a concerned Brookswood resident showed me and another member of WOLF around the neighbourhood. This Google aerial is overlayed over  the development plan area.  and shows how extensive the loss of forest could be.
The area outlined in red is slated for development under a plan currently making it's way through Township Council.
There are two significant areas. The area around 32nd Avenue near 200th St and the area around 208th
Street roughly between 32nd Avenue and  36th Avenue. But there are stands of trees throughout the neighbourhood.

It is very difficult to see how this kind of urban forest can survive under the proposed development. It is  particularly troubling that some owners have begun preemptive clearcuts.

This is all of great concern to the people who live in the neighbourhood and those who own property there as well. Certainly it will affect the future of all of Langley Township and ought to concern Langley residents throughout the municipality. But WOLF is a forest advocacy group and  why might we be concerned.

Some might think of WOLF as a bunch of people who just like trees and forest for aesthetic reasons. Although this is undoubtedly true as far as it goes it is not the whole truth. Forests play a vital role in our ecology here in the Lower Mainland. The loss of forest will significantly affect the human environment. Not the least of these impacts would be on our aquifers. Simply put trees play an immense role in conserving and filtering our groundwater. I have seen no evidence that Township has thought through the consequences for the Brookswood Aquifer if there is a singificant loss of trees in the Brookswood area. This aquifer is one of the most vulnerable aquifers in the region. Two other vulnerable aquifers are also in Langley Township.

How these wooded areas in private hands  can be conserved is a genuinely vexing problem but the current plan doesn't even confront the problem. Planting trees as replacements especially on this scale is a weak gesture.

Last night (Monday March 3) was the public hearings for the the bylaws changing the Official Community Plan. I would like to be able to give you a first-hand account of how it went but I can't. I stepped out of the Council chambers shortly before the hearings started and was unable to get back in due to the large overflow crowd. This picture gives you an idea of what the scene was like but does not do it full justice because it was taken after many people had already given up and left.
This is looking into the Council chambers just outside the main doors. There are more people in the lobby outside who are not visible in this picture.
 Apparently the crowd was in fact in excess of the fire regulations. The meeting became more and more raucous sounding from the vantage post outside. The people outside contributed to that noise as they murmured and sometimes shouted that they could not hear what was going on inside. A TV screen was turned on in the lobby but the volume only worked for about a minute.

After four speakers and a brief recess Council decided to adjourn the hearings until tonight at a new venue the George Preston Recreation Centre. Address 20699 – 42 Avenue, Langley, BC

The hearings start at 7pm. Tonight Tuesday March 4. I am told that the George Preston Centre seats 400 people.
I will try to let you know what happens if I can get in.
-Kirk Robertson

1 comment:

  1. hopefully you were able to get in and will keep us posted on what happens.
    Thank you Kirk and WOLF.
    Sylvia Oates