Parts of 208th Street are widened, but others remain narrow as development proceeds at different paces on different lots (Langley Advance Times files)

Woodward calls for new plan to widen Langley’s 208th Street

The Township councillor wants a new developer-paid fund to fill in gaps on the road

A plan to finish widening 208th Street and other roads in need of expansion in Willoughby will be pitched by Councillor Eric Woodward at next week’s Township council meeting.

Woodward released the plan through Facebook and is sending it out to his fellow councillors this week, in advance of an expected debate next Monday.

The issue is that parts of 208th – as well as 80th Avenue, 200th Street, 202A near R.E. Mountain Secondary, and portions of several other roads – are being widened and upgraded only as development proceeds.

Local residents have complained for years that this means 208th Street abruptly widens and contracts between two, three, and four lanes at various points between 68th Avenue and the overpass in the north.

It also means that sidewalks start and stop, or are only built down one side of certain streets.

“There is currently no prospect of development completing 208th Street between 68th Avenue and 76th Avenue due to the Smith Neighbourhood Plan not yet [being] underway,” Woodward wrote in a memo. “As the situation sits today, with development applications not even being contemplated for both sides this corridor, it could be 10-plus years before this section of 208th Street is completed without policy reform, significant depletion of the DCC [development cost charges] program, or unacceptable property tax increases.”

Buying the road frontages and building 208th to its full expected width would cost in the tens of millions of dollars.

Woodward’s plan to deal with the issue is to create a new Willoughby Arterial Road Completion Amenity Policy.

Amenity funds already exist in the Township and many other communities. Developers pay into them for things such as greenways in the nearby neighbourhoods.

There are about 1,400 developable acres available for building in Willoughby, Woodward’s memo said.

As more lots are developed, more money would flow into the fund. Instead of simply getting developers with frontage on major roads to build upgrades, it would spread the burden to all properties being developed in the area.

Once it’s set up, even before there is significant money collected through the policy, the Township could borrow to begin to deal with some of the gaps in the completed road network, Woodward suggested. The borrowing would be paid back through the fund.

He said he hasn’t included the amount the amenity fund would charge developers, because he doesn’t want to throw out a number before Township staff have had a chance to take a look at the idea.

He also mentions the same idea could be tried in Brookswood-Fernridge, which could see significant development in the near future.

“The opportunity in Fernridge is different,” Woodward said.

“We are going to end up inevitably with the same kind of missing gaps in the road network,” he noted. Putting in a road amenity policy early would help cut down on that issue from the start.

“Development must pay for development,” Woodward says in his memo.

Just Posted

Langley Township purchases Alder Inn and neighbouring lots for $5.4-million

The municipality has ‘no immediate plans’ to redevelop nearly one-acre in the downtown core

Grey-haired bank robber hit with dye pack in Langley heist

Police are looking for an older man who may be stained with dye

UPDATED: Condolences pour forth from community after passing of Langley-Aldergrove MP Mark Warawa

The Conservative Member of Parliament and long-time community advocate died in hospice this morning

Half million dollars guarantees Aldergrove man a new truck

Aird – a resident of 25 years in Aldergrove – has been buying lottery tickets for “forever.”

New Langley bistro caters to board game fans and families

Local food and games at every table is the formula for the new business

Video shows fireworks shot at swan in Alberta

Alberta Fish and Wildlife is investigating the incident in Grande Prairie

‘Text neck’ causing bone spurs to grow from millennials’ skulls, researchers say

Technology use from early childhood causing abnormal bone growths in 41 per cent of young adults

B.C. teen killed by fallen tree on field trip remembered as hero

13-year-old Tai Caverhill was the first to spot the tree falling and warned his friends

Surrey RCMP raises Pride flag amid din of protesters

There were about 30 protesters on either side, and 20 Mounties doing crowd control

Should B.C. get rid of Daylight Saving Time?

The province wants to know, as state governments down south make the move

Air Canada reviewing how crew left sleeping passenger on parked plane

In a Facebook post, the woman said she woke up ‘all alone’ on a ‘cold dark’ aircraft

Canadians crash out of Women’s World Cup in 0-1 loss to Sweden

Canada missed a chance to tie the game on a penalty shot

Four-year-old boy assaulted at B.C. soccer game

It happened at a weekend tournament in Ashcroft

Trial dates set for three men accused of 2017 killing near Hope

Lawyers for the accused appeared in Kelowna at B.C. Supreme Court on Monday

Most Read