Metro Vancouver takes Langley Township to court over growth plan (Aldergrove Star, 16-July-2013)

Below are summary points of article “Metro Vancouver takes Langley Township to court over growth plan” by Jeff Nagel, July 15, 2013

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Photo caption: Trinity Western University in Langley, pictured at bottom right. Langley Township has zoned a new ‘University District’ for development just to the north, near the Glover Road/Highway 1 overpass.

  • Metro Vancouver is taking the Township of Langley to court to make the municipality comply with the regional growth strategy, saying the local council’s defiance of the plan threatens to set a dangerous precedent.
  • At issue is the township’s vision for the so-called University District, a large 180-hectare area named after nearby Trinity Western University and earmarked for future institutional expansion by TWU and related development.
  • Township council last month rezoned the land near Highway 1 and Glover Road, much of which is in the Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR), but the legal challenge by Metro aims to quash the bylaw.
  • Metro argues the municipality must abide by the new regional growth strategy.
  • It requires the land use change go to a vote of the regional board because it calls for more intensive development of homes outside the regional plan’s urban containment boundary, contrary to Metro’s goal of concentrating growth in town centres and limiting sprawl in more rural and agricultural areas.
  • The township contends a two-year transition period means it is operating under the old regional plan – not the new one adopted two years ago – and can legally make the land-use change now.
  • Metro directors say a Langley victory in the dispute could leave other areas of farmland or green space more vulnerable to development.
  • All Metro municipalities have until July 29 to file new regional context statements, which define how local plans comply with the regional growth strategy.
  • Most of the context statements aren’t controversial and reflect existing Official Community Plans.
  • One notable change is in Port Moody, where council had previously frozen new development in response to delays in approving the Evergreen Line.
  • Now that the new SkyTrain line is being built, Port Moody is revising its context statement to unfreeze development to allow growth as originally planned.

Related story (May 14, 2013) Township Council debates exit from Metro Vancouver

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