Township plans to capture value from SkyTrain land boom

With land prices expected to rise, the Township wants to put money into local amenities

Langley Township hopes to pump money from skyrocketing land values around the future SkyTrain line back into community projects such as parks, libraries, and affordable housing.

On Monday, the council passed the first and second reading of a bylaw for a Willowbrook Land Value Capture System.

It is expected that when and if the SkyTrain line is extended to Langley, land in the Township’s nearby Willowbrook area will increase in value immensely.

The proposed policy would attempt to “capture” up to 75 per cent of that land value increase.

The method of recapturing the land value has not yet been determined. The report notes that community amenity contributions (CACs), ongoing taxes, and special assessment districts are among the ways

The bylaw was to have set 2020 as the “base” land value for estimating the 75 per cent of the increase to be recaptured, but council agreed to move that date back to before serious discussion of the SkyTrain line’s route had taken place.

Councillor Kim Richter proposed an earlier date of 2017, while Coun. Eric Woodward suggested the report noted 2018 was mentioned in the staff report to council.

The council unanimously voted to amend the baseline date to 2018, and unanimously approved the first two readings of the bylaw.

Surrey has also been putting similar rules in place to recapture value of the extension. The line will run through Surrey and Langley City on Fraser Highway, but will be close to the boundary with the Township around 64th Avenue in the Willowbrook area.

The TransLink Mayors’ Council has been lobbying the federal government for enough funding to complete the line as far as Langley City.

READ MORE: Surrey-Langley SkyTrain business case to go to mayor’s council next week

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