On October 7th, Langford Council held the first reading for the proposal to develop this land. We’ve summarized the proposal below and you can read the full details here (starting at pg 139).
804 Latoria Road and 950 Worrall Drive are two parcels of land that total 73 acres. That’s about 55 football fields of undeveloped forest containing two streams that feed in Bilston’s Creek, with large ‘riparian zones’ (eg. wetlands) around them, and habitat for a range of species, including ‘species at risk’ protected under provincial and federal regulations. The land is surrounded by zones that are rural/residential, and the majority have a minimum of 1 acre lots or larger.
On July 9th, Langford’s Planning, Zoning and Affordable Housing Committee met to review the first iteration of the proposal to develop this land, which:
- allowed the developer to build up to 450 dwellings, including 100 townhouses and 10 affordable housing units;
- created a unique, brand new zoning category for this proposal: R5 (Residential 5), which hadn’t existed in Langford before, so there are no examples of what it would look like in practice; and
- reduced the minimum greenspace requirements (as outlined in the Langford OCP) from 40% to 25%, fragmented into small streamside protection areas, school playing fields, and isolated parts of private backyards that would be cut down and replanted when building homes.
The meeting was well attended with over 200 members of the public, the majority asking the committee to reject the proposal, citing major environmental, density and traffic concerns. The committee moved to approve the proposal with a minor amendment to increase the greenspace requirement to 30%.
On September 30th, the developer presented an updated proposal at a public consultation and this new proposal had its first reading on October 7th. The public hearing is being held Monday, November 25th.
What’s in the new proposal?
- The proposal now uses existing zoning category RS4 (Residential small lot 4) with additional text to allow townhousing, schools and daycare uses;
- The proposal no longer includes any affordable housing units;
- The number of townhouses allowed is limited no more than 80 units (reduced from 100);
- 40% of the site is now allocated as greenspace/open space as an amenity to the community, which will not include the land (approximately 7.7 acres) transferred to the School District No. 62.
At the public consultation, the developer presented a new concept map showing the potential layout of roads, lots, greenspaces, trails, and the school site.
While the new proposal certainly helps to mitigate some of the concerns raised by the public, its impact on the sensitive ecosystems, species at risk, and riparian areas located in this parcel is still tremendous: there is no guarantee that any of the greenspace provided to the City of Langford as a community amenity will be preserved in its original state. If the city chooses to do so, it can still clearcut and minimally replant any of the greenspace outside of the streamside protection areas.
We can do even better
We ask that council only approves this zoning amendment if a large, contiguous portion of the parcel is covenanted and protected as a forested park for the community. Read more