Five acres to be paved for church

Council gives third reading for Seventh Day Adventist building

Despite opposition from the people who will be most impacted, a majority of Township council has given crucial third reading to a bylaw rezoning 4.7 acres of rural land to accommodate a church.

Kim Richter was the only councillor to vote against the rezoning, which changes the land use at 23589 Old Yale Road from rural to institutional.

Acknowledging the “many, many good things” the church does in the community, Richter said at a June council meeting that the application does not meet assembly use guidelines.”

Furthermore, she said, “It’s rural, not urban, and I have a strong concern about paving five acres in Langley.”

Satisfied that the Fraser Highway driveway would allow only right turns in and out of the church property, Councillor Steve Ferguson said the location “fits in with what we are trying to do with the community.”

The Seventh Day Adventist Church plans to build a church large enough for 900 worshipers, as well as a sports courts, a games area and auditorium, and parking for 325 vehicles.

However, at a public hearing on May 14, most speakers had reservations about the proposal.

One resident said that with so much of the five acres covered by buildings or pavement, rainwater would pool. And, because the area has a clay base, the water would find its way to his land.

He noted that Old Yale Road is a very old street, narrow and full of potholes. There is no shoulder.

Traffic, and the supply of water, which residents draw from wells, were other concerns residents raised. One speaker said that residents have had to re-drill their wells because there isn’t enough water.

However, people who had benefited from the church’s Act Of Kindness program praised the Seventh Day Adventists.

Pastor David Jameson explained that AOK began because “we felt the church needs to be involved in extreme generosity.”

The property is surrounded by rural residences, and light manufacturing plants, auto and RV sales, and the Hilltop Café are situated close by.