Election 2014: Solon Bucholtz answers questions

Township of Langley: Bucholtz, Solon - council candidate: He answers The Times' questions.

  • Nov. 5, 2014 6:00 a.m.

Solon Bucholtz

  1. What is the most important issue facing the Township, and how would you propose to deal with it?

A lack of responsible planning and execution of our communities throughout the Township is our main issue. This issue stems from actions of the current council. Consequently, disengaged residents, lack of community input, destruction of farmland, and reckless development without planning, vision, or required infrastructure to support the rapid residential growth are all symptoms of this larger issue. The mistakes are made in the original planning process.

As a proposed idea, we need to ensure our municipal government is accountable for their actions and is transparent in their decisions. This can only be achieved by including the community in all of its decision-making. We must also ensure the sustainability charter created in 2008 is guiding us in our decision-making. We must instill additional checkpoints in the approval process of OCPs and ensure we receive mandatory public input when changes are made. We must plan and build economically and environmentally strong communities that enhance the lives of the residents, create value and promote livability. Infrastructure that is equal to the demand of the population, sufficient schools, pristine natural green space, municipal facilities, cultural vivacity, accessible transportation, ample parking, and safe pedestrian passage is the foundation of the planning process.

2. Should there be restrictions on development in Willoughby until the situation regarding funding for new schools has been resolved?

Stopping development is not a solution, as growth is essential to keep the services and the community thriving. However, at this time we are so far behind on basic services to support current (and approved) development that Willoughby and its residents are on the verge of a crisis. Current council’s hasty stamp approvals on Willoughby development are devaluing the neighbourhood due to deficient planning. Moving forward in Willoughby, I would suggest approving any rezoning or development permits contrary to existing NCPs and OCP be done with caution, until a concise funding plan for a new school is approved or in progress.

3. Do you support a pool and recreation centre complex in Aldergrove, and if so, when should construction begin? If not, why not?

We need to make waves in the community and ensure that Aldergrove gets the pool and rec facility they deserve. The residents of Aldergrove should have their fair share of the services and community facilities that they contribute to through taxes. As a community, Aldergrove has continuously been put on the back burner. Ensuring proper infrastructure and responsible planning throughout the Township is a top priority to me. I would insist that the Aldergrove Recreation Centre is funded and started with consensus-led decision-making and action until completion. Recreation facilities are cornerstones of communities and promote growth, livability and real quality of life. The residents and council need to create a funding plan that results in action and not just empty promises.

4. What type of development, if any, should be encouraged in a new community plan for Brookswood and Fernridge?

With Brookswood’s larger lots and tall trees, it is a unique community that long-term residents call home. For these reasons, well-planned infrastructure is vital to preserve its unique qualities. Unbridled development without consensus-led and well-thought out planning is the issue, not whether to stop development completely. Development and growth are essential; however, how we plan and execute this development will be the key to a sustainable community. Therefore, during the planning process, considerable input needs to be obtained from not only the Brookswood residents, but also the community as a whole.

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