Derelict site to be developed

LANGLEY – A builder has the go-ahead for an eight-unit townhouse building on 201A Street and 56th Avenue.

Langley City council heard from the developer and the public at its Feb. 17 meeting.

The development is intended to be high-end with units of about 1,500 square feet, but Councillor Val van den Broek stressed that there are significant crime issues in this area.

Before running for council, she was at the Community Policing Office in Langley City and made suggestions about how to change the design to deter crime and problems around the development.

The development follows the City’s Downtown Master Plan guidelines for CPTED (Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design) but van den Broek wants more steps taken.

She suggested the entrance driveway into the complex should be gated and the site shouldn’t use chain link, proposed for the rear of the lot in a dead zone where the power equipment is planned. Those dead zones are used for illegal activity and she suggested amending the design to prevent the problem before it arises.

“If these are for rich people, I guarantee they will not buy there if they know anything about” the immediate area, van den Broek commented.

Each unit has West Coast modern design, two-car tandem garages, private roof gardens and street level entry, explained architect Fred Adeb.

Because the lot is narrow, it can’t accommodate city greenspace bylaws so the compromise the city is allowing are the rooftop gardens and second floor balconies.

There will be street trees as well as trees on the site and shrubs.

Adeb said residents will be able to see from the second and third storeys, adding to the safety of the area but Van Den Broek said the trees may block views, a security concern.

Each unit is alarmed, the materials used are graffiti resistant and the first storey windows are laminated to help prevent crime.

“This is going to be a 500-per-cent improvement on this corner,” said Coun. Gayle Martin.

Coun. Dave Hall picked up on a comment from a resident about parking in the area. He said the units are three bedrooms plus dens which means most units will easily fill their two garage parking stalls and may have vehicles on the streets.

Staff have been asked to look at options to restrict parking in the area.

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