Rental supporters prefer to remain anonymous

Three people who spoke in favor of a proposed rental apartment building in Murrayville at a Monday evening (July 14) public hearing on the project all asked to remain anonymous.

The speakers backed the Kelson Investments Ltd. plan to build a 105-suite rental building on 1.68 acres of land near 49 Avenue and 220 Street, but didn’t want their names on the record.

Two of the three both said they didn’t want to be identified “due to the nature of my employment,” while the third decided to seek anonymity after a Times reporter asked if they wanted to be identified.

Critics were OK with their names being used.

Dennis Townshend questioned part of the plan that would have the builder fund an overhaul of a nearby children’s water park.

He later told The Times the new rental proposal was actually the second attempt at building a rental unit on the site, and considerably bigger than the 87-unit building proposed the first time out.

There were also several written submissions to council predicting the introduction of “transient tenants” into a neighborhood where everyone owns their house or condominium suite would be a “blight” with “renters who come and go, and who may not take pride in their rental units or the surrounding Murrayville area” and have “little pride in home ownership” to quote some of the messages.

Other writers expressed concern about the impact of higher density housing on traffic and property values in the neighbourhood.

Kelson sent a delegation to council to say the building would address a need for rental accommodation in Langley, and was aimed at “high-end” tenants.

Kelson president Ron Fawcett said his Kamloops-based firm has plenty of experience managing and maintaining thousands of rental suites throughout B.C.

“We have 40-year-old buildings and they’re in great shape,” Fawcett said.

Council will vote on the proposal at an upcoming meeting.

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