A Vesta staffer talks to a member of the public about the proposed 45-storey tower plan at 82nd Avenue and 200th Street, during an open house on Monday, May 16. (Matthew Claxton/Langley Advance Times)

A Vesta staffer talks to a member of the public about the proposed 45-storey tower plan at 82nd Avenue and 200th Street, during an open house on Monday, May 16. (Matthew Claxton/Langley Advance Times)

Mixed views on proposed 45-storey tower for Langley

Plan draws opposition from some living nearby

Reactions to a planned 45-storey residential high rise on Langley’s 200th Street ranged from firm opposition to curiosity, as dozens of people packed a public meeting on Monday evening.

Vesta Properties wants to change the development plans for its 74-acre Latimer Heights development to add a third tower. Two previous towers, 34 and 26 storeys tall, have already been approved to the north of the development. This new proposal would replace a cluster of six-storey condo buildings with a third tower.

If the rezoning is approved by Langley Township and the tower goes ahead, it would become by far the tallest building in Langley.

At a meeting held at the Vesta sales office, some of those who have already bought into Vesta’s developments said they don’t want to see the tower built.

“We bought over a year ago, we were not informed, we had to find out on Facebook,” said Jacki Giannandrea.

Her family is planning to move into a townhouse unit, currently under construction, just to the east of the planned tower site. They would be among the closest neighbours to the new project.

Traffic is her major concern, with worries that it will make it more difficult for her family to get in and out of their townhouse complex.

“Completely against it,” said Janet Von Siemens, who lives in a condo to the north of the site and is worried about impacts on traffic and views, among other issues.

She noted that the tower was not in any previous plans people moving into the neighbourhood were shown.

John Pryde, who also lives in nearby Vesta-built condos, was at the open house because he was curious, and noted he isn’t opposed to building just because they’re tall. He did note that it would be a sizable building for Langley.

“Forty-five [storeys], you always think of that being downtown,” Pryde said.

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Michael Pratt, who lives nearby, said he’s interested to see the response from others. He’s a little concerned because of the long-term plans being changed.

“This, to me, wasn’t done necessarily in the right way,” he said.

Vesta president Kent Sillars said the change is about density and form, but it isn’t adding that many more housing units to the area.

Compared to the low-rise condos that were originally planned, the tower will have 87 more units. Sillars noted that’s a relatively small addition to the 2,100 units Vesta is building across the Latimer Heights projects.

By reducing the footprint of the housing into the tower, “you get more opportunities for green space, more amenities,” he said.

Vesta is planning a two-storey restaurant, a pool, and walking areas around the base of the tower. Part of the tower base and the restaurant are to have green roofs.

Sillars said the tower is in keeping with the overall plans for the nearby major road corridor.

“200th [Street] is designated as a densified, pedestrian friendly, transit friendly corridor,” said Sillars.

The Latimer Heights project is also set to include a school site to the east of the tower, and has a number of mixed-use buildings with condos above and commercial space on the ground floors.

Langley Township council will have the final say on whether or not the project goes ahead, because the site requires a rezoning vote.

Have a story tip? Email: matthew.claxton@langleyadvancetimes.com

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