Township mayor Jack Froese predicts Metro Vancouver will lose its appeal of a Langley court victory. Metro opposes a Langley decision to approve a university district near TWU.

Updated: Langley and Metro back to court

Regional authority appeals decision on university district

 

Metro Vancouver has filed an appeal of a court ruling that said the Township of Langley has final say over development planning, not the regional authority.

Township mayor Jack Froese said it was an “unfortunate” decision.

“It’s disturbing that this much tax dollars are going into a squabble,” said Froese, who estimates the Township’s legal bills at $50,000 to date, with Metro spending more than double that amount.

“I’m very confident that they’re going to lose again,” Froese said.

“We can’t just lie down and let Metro Vancouver walk all over us,” he added.

Metro wants to overturn a written decision issued on March 12 by B.C. Supreme Court Justice Neena Sharma, who dismissed a Metro application to have the court overrule the Township decision to approve a “University District” on 376 acres at 7645 and 7679 Glover Rd., and 22423 Labonte Cres.

Within the three properties lying on the west side of Glover Road opposite the university, 23.4 acres was to be used by Trinity to develop a university district, while another 48 acres was to remain protected farmland within the Agricultural Land Reserve.

Metro argued the municipality must abide by the new regional growth strategy while the Township contended a two-year transition period meant it was operating under the old regional plan – not the new one  – and could legally make the land-use change.

Justice Sharma said the Metro regional growth strategy, which aims to limit urban sprawl, is only “guidelines expressing policy” not enforceable laws.

Metro, the judge said, “does not have superiority over land use management within the boundaries of a municipality.”

The decision was a victory for both the Township and the university, which wants to expand its campus by adding housing, a food store and coffee shop geared to the university community.

The judge also upheld the related Township decision to create a residential subdivision on  the Wall farm, which is south of the campus and across the Salmon River and railway tracks.

Froese said the Township has legal advice that work on the developments can go ahead while the appeal process is underway.

“We were in the right [to approve the district],” Froese said.

“It’s the law of the land.”

Metro board chair Greg Moore said Metro believes the judge didn’t correctly interpret the regional district’s authority under the Local Government Act in deciding Metro’s powers don’t supercede a municipality’s decisions within its boundaries.

The ruling’s logic that a rezoning affecting only one municipality can’t be considered regionally significant makes no sense because no rezoning would ever qualify, Moore said.

“For us, this isn’t a Langley issue,” Moore said.

“This ruling is too important to the regional growth legislation. It has implications not just for Metro but for every other regional district that has a regional growth strategy.”

Moore said the issue is not the zoning changes the township wanted – creating a university district with campus housing and shops around Trinity Western University – but that the municipality believed it didn’t have to subject that change to a vote of the regional board, as set out in the regional growth strategy all Metro cities signed.

Metro’s growth strategy aims to concentrate urban-style growth in town centres and keep it out of farmland and rural areas.

 

– with files from Jeff Nagel

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