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Policy enhances local area service application process

A new policy approved by Township of Langley council on April 7 will make it easier for residents to apply for Local Area Service and for staff to manage Business Improvement Association requests.

“This new policy is definitely more structured. It provides clear direction on each step of the process as well as clearly defines cost recovery mechanisms,” said director of public works, Roeland Zwaag.

The new policy will soon be available on the Township website at tol.ca/las.

Through a LAS, property owners who want to conduct neighbourhood improvements such as the installation of water or sewer systems, sidewalks, or street lighting can petition council, asking for the Township to undertake the work. The cost of providing the service is recovered through a local service tax placed on all the property owners in the area.

The Township’s previous LAS policy was approved in 1998, and while there have been a number of revisions to it over the years, there has been no comprehensive review of the entire program until recently.

The new policy, which coordinates with the Community Charter and meets the legal requirements of the municipality, is much more comprehensive, Zwaag said. It reduces staff judgement in the process and ensures consistency in dealing with future requests.

The new policy will also help businesses wanting to enhance their surroundings through a Business Improvement Association.

Up until now, there were no policies in place to provide guidance for the management of BIA requests. The Community Charter has been used as a guiding document, but the new policy clearly defines the process and means of cost recovery.

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