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

Canadian Museum of Flight volunteer was there from the beginning

Fond memories as the Langley aviation history exhibition readies for the holidays

VIDEO: Giants earn seventh straight win while playing at Pacific Coliseum

G-Men return home for their next game at the Langley Events Centre Friday against the Silvertips.

VIDEO: Aldergrove Children’s Christmas Party

Princesses aplenty along with Santa and Mrs. Claus, ballon animals and face painting

VIDEO: Celebrity Christmas food and toy drive in Langley

Annual event helps families and abuse victims

VIDEO: This B.C. school leads country in vaccine donations to UNICEF

Federally funded Kids Boost Immunity uses quizzes to earn vaccinations

Canada Post backlog, Greyhound exit creating headaches ahead of the holidays

The federal government forced members of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers back to their jobs late last month

Top EU court rules UK can change mind over Brexit

Britain voted in 2016 to leave the 28-nation bloc, triggering a two-year exit process

Boeser scores 3, Pettersson has 5 points as Canucks hammer Blues

Vancouver picks up impressive 6-1 win in St. Louis

Giants earn seventh straight win while playing at Pacific Coliseum

G-Men return home for their next game at the Langley Events Centre Friday against the Silvertips.

B.C. police stop drunk driver who offered up burger instead of ID

Roadblock checks over the weekend found at least two other impaired drivers

In Canada, the term ‘nationalism’ doesn’t seem to have a bad rap. Here’s why

Data suggest that Canadians don’t see the concept of nationalism the way people do in the United States

Earthquake recorded west of Vancouver Island

No injuries or tsunami warning after 5.4 rumble felt off the coast of Victoria

B.C. suspends Chinese portion of Asian forestry trade mission due to Huawei arrest

Huawei’s chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou was detained at the request of U.S. in Vancouver

Most Read