Coulter Berry developer Eric Woodward spoke to a mostly sympathetic crowd of over 200 Thursday night in Fort Langley to describe how the design of the controversial structure has been revised.

Supporters outnumber critics at Coulter Berry open house

Developer presents revised design of controversial building to a mostly sympathetic audience

There were more supporters than opponents of the Coulter Berry building at a Thursday night open house arranged by developer Eric Woodward in Fort Langley to present a revised design for the controversial construction project.

More than half of the over 200 people who filled the Fort Langley heritage community hall to capacity raised their hands when the question was posed at the end of the two-hour meeting.

There were only two undecided.

It was a low-key event, without the heated rhetoric Woodward said has been directed against him for trying to build the three-storey project that is bigger than the Fort Langley size limits.

He projected one example on the wall, a response card that said “obey and respect the law, you greedy bastard.”

Woodward said some of the comments have been “regrettable.”

With the exception of a few muttered heckles at the back of the room,  people who spoke against the project at the open house were uniformly civil, maintaining the building as proposed was simply too big, with one warning “we could be creating something that doesn’t see a lot of sunshine” while supporters said the building with its mix of retail, office and housing would be an asset to the community.

“I’m very interested in that third floor [where the housing will be]” said one man in a wheelchair, who argued the community needs smaller residences for people downsizing or in need of disabled-friendly accommodation.

Woodward was pressed about the underground parking, something supporters said would make it easier to find spaces in downtown Fort Langley, while critics said it was excessive.

The look of the project has been altered to make the building appear like several heritage structures, for the application by Woodward to have the area re-zoned to allow construction of the taller building.

The rezoning was something the judge who ruled against the previous approval hinted at when he ruled the Township broke its own rules to approve the first version of the project, saying that would not violate the law.

The builder defended the design, calling it “one of the greenest buildings that can possibly be built.”

“If we have to re-apply, why not make it better,” Woodward said.

Woodward added he has no plan to get involved in the court appeal by the Township, but he supports the municipal challenge.

“The Township should be worried about varying a building by one foot [with that precedent],” Woodward said.

Six members of the Township council were present for the open house; Kim Richter, Michelle Sparrow, Bob Long, Bev Dornan, Charlie Fox and Grant Ward.

All of them, with the exception of Long, approved the project and voted to appeal the court ruling.

 

Editor’s note: A previous version of this story incorrectly included Councillor Long among the supporters of the project.

 

Just Posted

VIDEO: Scouts in Langley learn how to communicate during emergencies

Weekend event at Camp McLean part of worldwide Jamboree On The Air and Jamboree On The Internet

ELECTION 18: Langley Township, you chose Jack Froese for mayor

Township voters went with a familiar face, handing incumbent a third term as mayor

Mayoral results from across B.C.

Voters in 162 municipalities in B.C. set to elect mayor, council, school board and more

Who won and who didn’t in the Lower Mainland votes

A look at the region’s mayoral races, starting with Doug McCallum coming back to win in Surrey

Tommy Chong says cannabis legalization makes him proud to be a Canadian

Legendary marijuana advocate and comedian celebrates cultural milestone at Kelowna event

Three strong earthquakes reported off Vancouver Island

The quakes, all measuring more than 6.0 on the richter scale, were about 260 kilometres west of Tofino

Voting set to start in B.C. proportional representation referendum

Two-part ballots now being mailed to all registered voters

Fraser Valley man dead after head on crash in Okanagan

Accident occurred at about 7:35 a.m.

B.C. oncologist changing the face of breast cancer treatment

Dr. Juanita Crook, a Kelowna oncologist, has seen 100 per cent success using brachytherapy to treat breast cancer in some patients.

Newly-elected Lower Mainland mayor won’t drink his city’s tap water

White Rock’s Darryl Walker is concerned about its quality

Kennedy Stewart challenged with building bridges as mayor of Vancouver: expert

The former NDP MP, who ran as an Independent, will lead 10 councillors divided across four parties

B.C. Youtuber to seal himself ‘in a jar’ to demonstrate impacts of climate change

Kurtis Baute wants to see how long he can last in a 1,000 cubic foot, air-tight greenhouse

One of Taiwan’s fastest trains derails, killing at least 18

The train was carrying more than 360 people

Most Read