Buildings on various lots owned by Eric Woodward are slated for demolition. The Township report has been released showing they have no heritage value. (Township report)

Township staff report paves the way for Fort Langley building demolitions

Council is expected to vote on whether to allow the buildings to come down at its Sept. 9 meeting

Langley Township staff don’t see heritage value in several Fort Langley buildings the owner wants to demolish.

Given the history of the village, building demolition must undergo a review process. Building owner Eric Woodward, who is a Township councillor and owner of Statewood Properties, has applied for a heritage alteration permit which would allow the company to tear down 11 buildings on seven lots. One building on the north side of Gasoline Alley would be retained.

Five of the buildings were commercial use while two were single-family residences.

“Based on age considerations, the documentary evidence available for these buildings, and the established evaluation criteria weighed against their integrity, the subject buildings would not be eligible for heritage status on an individual basis…,” Township staff concluded.

A key factor in the determination is how extensively the structures have been altered from their original design or appearance.

The buildings include a house associated with Billy Brown at 9123 Church St., a small, one-storey building from 1959 across from the Fort Langley Community Hall, commercial buildings at 9150 and 9213 Glover Rd. that date from the 1950s, and homes and outbuildings at 9135 Church St. and 23272 Mary Ave.

The Township has been doing heritage assessments since 1993 to determine what local buildings are worth heritage conservation.

The Township council allowed public input at its July meeting, but this demolition would not require a public hearing, explained Councillor Kim Richter. More than 40 people spoke at the July 23 council meeting. Most against the demolition, though a sizable number spoke in favour.

“It was not a public hearing in the legal sense of the definition. But rather an ‘opportunity for public input.’ The same rules as a public hearing do not apply, meaning council can continue to take new information right up until the moment they vote, which should be on Sept. 9,” Richter said in her Facebook posting about the staff report.

Council does not meet in August. The next meeting is slated for early September.

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Buildings on various lots owned by Eric Woodward are slated for demolition. The Township report has been released showing they have no heritage value. (Township report)

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