Unity gives power to the people, and through the Fort Langley Community Association, the people of Fort Langley may soon rid their streets of truck traffic.
Noting that there are soil deposit applications for two Glen Valley properties, FLCA vice-chairman Connie Blundy asked Township council on March 14 to re-draw the truck route so that it eliminates the heavy vehicles from using village streets.
Council agreed to pursue that option with staff, and to ask the City of Abbotsford to modify access to the sites so that travel through Fort Langley is eliminated.
The applications are for the Nesteruk property at 8645 256 St., and the Bezalel/Caravetta property at 25476 and 25528 – 73 Ave.
Although the applications comply with the Township’s Soil Removal Bylaw, both were deferred so that a public meeting can be held.
Blundy told council that both projects would impact truck traffic volumes through the village.
“I have never understood why we have a truck route through Fort Langley,” she told council.
Blundy asked why a 2004 Township staff recommendation to re-route trucks way from Glover Road failed to materialize.
She warned that when work starts on rebuilding the IGA store on Glover Road and Mavis Street, there will be more truck traffic in and out of the village. The store was destroyed by fire on Jan. 4.
Asked by Councillor Kim Richter if Fort Langley was looking for a permanent ban on trucks in the village, Blundy replied, “A total ban would be absolutely wonderful.”
After Fort Langley-Albion ferry service ceased in July, 2009, Glover Road was withdrawn from TransLink’s Major Road Network. However, council was advised that because truck routes have regional impact, the Township must consult TransLink before truck routes are eliminated.
The Nesteruk application is for a soil deposit permit that would allow 41,000 cubic metres of soil to be trucked in, raising the land by half a metre to provide winter pasture for cattle. The amount is the equivalent to 5,800 single truck loads.
In April, 2010, the Township was forced to issue a stop-work order on the Nesteruk property after 3,000 cubic metres of fill was deposited on the land without a valid permit in place, and for roads that were left dirty.
The Bezalel/Caravetta application is for 14,200 cubic metres of soil for pasture. The depth of fill is one metre.
Soil deposit applications have a history of contention in the Township, sometimes raising concerns of flooding, and creating visual blight on neighbouring properties.
Roeland Zwaag, the Township’s manager of design and construction, gave an outline of the new policies and measures the Township has adopted to reduce the potential impact to the Township and its residents, and place tighter control on applications.
Monthly monitoring will track, for example, the volume of fill and number of truck loads, Zwaag said.
However, not everyone on council was assured.
Mayor Rick Green said he was not comfortable that all possible controls are in place, and wondered about the cost and effectiveness of monitoring.
“The only 100 per cent solution is for the Township to no longer support non-farm applications,” administrator Mark Bakken told council.