1 – Most important issue
The most important issue facing Langley Township is keeping it an affordable place to live by maintaining a stable tax base. As local governments must balance their annual budgets by provincial law, it is important not to play political games with the tax rate and make sure property owners are treated fairly so that they can look ahead to years of stable tax management. That can be achieved by steady, well managed growth — which includes both industrial and commercial development along with new housing. Because of the changing world economic conditions, I would propose the Township update its long-range financial plan to take a hard look at the future as more downloading of expenses is expected from senior governments.
2 – Restrictions on development in Willoughby
School districts and the provincial government are responsible for building schools and operating them. Local governments must work closely with them to develop livable neighbourhoods and encourage proper management of school properties — but that will not be achieved by placing restrictions on development. Everyone agrees the current system is not working so let’s fix it. We need to change the way we plan for schools and the way we build them. A modular approach and higher buildings might work.
3 – Pool for Aldergrove
Yes, I support a new pool and recreational complex in Aldergrove. It must be remembered that a pool complex is one of the most expensive recreational facilities to operate, so it must be built in the right location with multiple uses in mind, such as the possibility of a future adjoining ice rink for better energy savings. Aldergrove has a limited customer base, so co-operation is needed with the City of Abbotsford to ensure that they won’t build a similar facility to compete with one in Aldergrove. That would be a financial disaster for both communities. A recreation complex for Aldergrove should be a top priority in the new Master Plan, if funds have not been set aside already. The Township should apply to the provincial and federal government for recreational infrastructure grants.
4 – Type of development for new Brookswood/Fernridge Plan
Langley Township has a great opportunity to learn from development issues and take direction from the best examples possible, in order to further develop south Langley. We have a unique and very desirable rural-urban lifestyle in Brookswood/Fernridge. It is important that we maintain that quality of life in any future development. The western corridor with Surrey is not in the Agricultural Land Reserve and adjacent to the expanding Campbell Heights Business Park, so south Langley can remain mostly residential and green. The amount of increased density should only be decided after consultation with the community, taking a close look at other developments. There should not be the issue there of parks and schools, as there is lots of land available and empty schools now. Because of a slowing economy which will affect market conditions, let’s take some time to plan it right.