Trouble in Brookswood


Brookswood, a classic 1950s subdivision in the Township of Langley, has been locked for years in a dispute over the pace of development. It sits just minutes from malls and highways, but it has a deep country feel.

In late 2017, on the third try in four years, Township Council approved a plan that contemplates significant population growth in the Brookswood-Fernridge planning area. From fewer than 14,000 residents, the population is supposed to grow to 39,000 when projected development is complete. In percentage terms, Langley is growing faster than any other major municipality in Greater Vancouver, and it needs land for medium-density housing. The question here is whether the preservation of an old, sprawling suburb might be justified because of its special character. Continue reading

Gloucester Estates: industry at the margins

For a society that consumes so much stuff, it’s remarkable how we like to push  industrial production and distribution out of sight.

In Fraseropolis, most industrial zones are screened from the view of people sitting in their living rooms or standing on their lawns, and the number of vehicle access points to industrial zone is kept to a minimum.  The biggest issue is trucks.  We don’t want them near residential streets.  They rattle the teacups.  They are feared as a threat to pedestrians and property values.

A couple of decades ago, decision-makers in the Township of Langley went the extra mile in banishing industry to the margins, creating Gloucester Industrial Estates in a rural area near the municipality’s eastern boundary.  (We’re talking fabrication, assembly, food processing and warehousing here, not black smoke.)  Gloucester has good access to the Trans-Canada Highway, but it is far from any residential area and most services.  Continue reading