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Not enough heritage in building design

An architectural drawing of the design for a proposed two-storey building in historic Fort Langley that was rejected by a majority of Township council Monday for failing to fit in with the heritage character of the area. - submitted image
An architectural drawing of the design for a proposed two-storey building in historic Fort Langley that was rejected by a majority of Township council Monday for failing to fit in with the heritage character of the area.
— image credit: submitted image

A proposed new two-storey,  heritage-style office complex for the western entrance to Fort Langley was rejected Monday after a majority of Township councillors complained the exterior didn’t look heritage enough.

Councillor Charlie Fox had the most to say about the look of the proposed development in the 23100 block of 96 Avenue, little of it complimentary.

“This building does not fit,” Fox said.

“It has no heritage appeal at all.”

The building simply doesn’t look like a heritage structure, Fox said, arguing the exterior lacked heritage details, the windows were too large and the building design had pillars that don’t belong on an older style of architecture.

Councillor Kim Richter agreed, calling the submitted proposal “probably one of the most disappointing building designs that council has been asked to review.”

“This is nothing more than a big coloured box,” Richter said.

Richter added the people who designed the building are not at fault because they followed the Township heritage guidelines.

“I do think there is something drastically wrong with our heritage guidelines,” Richter said.

Councillor Grant Ward disagreed, calling the project “a good addition” to Fort Langley that was approved by the Township heritage advisory committee.

Councillor Bob Long said he “didn’t mind” the design and grumbled that the design approval process appeared to consist of “send it back until they come up with something Charlie likes.”

It was Councillor Steve Ferguson, with the support of Fox, who proposed referring the design back to staff “to review comments of council as to rectangular design, windows, doors, and covered areas, pedestrian interface with street, and Fort Langley gateway character.”

Mayor Jack Froese and Councillors David Davis, Long, and Ward opposed sending it back to staff.

 

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