Monty Wood lives near the planned tower and was positive about the project. (Matthew Claxton/Langley Advance)

Proposed Langley seniors highrise draws praise, concerns

Most speakers at a Monday night public hearing were in favour of the project.

A plan for Langley’s first highrise tower drew a few concerns, but as many words of support from neighbours and local residents at a Township council public hearing Monday.

Care Pacific is applying for a rezoning to allow it to build and operate Oasis, a 20-storey tower with a broader four-storey base in the 7700 block of 200th Street, opposite the Langley Events Centre.

The building is planned as a seniors community with a range of housing options, from rentals and condo suites for 55-plus residents to various levels of assisted living care.

Those among the project’s nearest neighbours who spoke were enthusiastic.

“I’m glad the council is even considering things like this, because we have beautiful natural environments in Langley, and the way to keep those environments is density,” said Monty Wood, who lives near the project.

He mentioned the possibility of a pedestrian overpass that would connect the project to the LEC on the east side of 200th Street, and urged council to see it built if and when this first phase of proposed development is done.

“I was struck with the alignment of their vision and what we stand for,” said Gord Schutz, lead pastor at Mountain View Alliance Church, which is located nearby.

He encouraged the idea of seniors living closer to their families.

Element Lifestyle Retirement, the firm managing development and long-term operations for the project, plans this to be the first of several phases.

Element Lifestyle’s Don Ho said he has a connection to Langley Township because of his development almost 20 years ago of the Langley Gardens project in Walnut Grove.

The new Oasis project is aiming for a similar age-in-place philosophy, said Candy Ho, Don’s daughter and business partner.

“We consider ourselves not developers but community builders,” Candy said.

A few Langley residents raised concerns about infrastructure around the planned seniors home.

“Is Langley Memorial Hospital ready to provide the level of care this many people will require?” said Anna R., a Murrayville resident.

“What kind of strain are we putting on the medical system here?” she asked.

“The towers themselves are an issue for me,” said Brookswood’s Michelle Connerty, who said there needs to be plans for infrastructure before buildings go up.

Township councillors had a few questions about parking and the split between rentals, condos, and seniors cares in both Oasis and planned future units.

There were also questions about parking. Candy Ho mentioned there are plans for a small car co-op for some residents who don’t want to have their own cars but who still drive occasionally.

If Oasis goes ahead, long term plans are to build three more tower complexes. Candy Ho said in the future, other projects will likely be half seniors care and half mixed ages. They don’t want to segregate seniors into a facility and isolate them from the rest of the community, she noted.

Council will debate the rezoning for this project at a future meeting.

If approved, this will be Langley Township’s first highrise, and the first residential structure of any kind taller than six storeys.

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