A major project in Brookswood-Fernridge that will see 20 acres developed into 84 single family homes has passed first and second reading.
On Jan. 29, Township council voted 5-3 in favour of an application from Qualico Developments to build a new subdivision at 3354, 3424, 3430, 3474, and 3502 208 St.
The proposal, which was submitted to the Township prior to the Oct. 23, 2017 cutoff date for the new community plan, is being processed under the former 1987 Official Community Plan.
The lots will range in size from 7,000 square-feet to 8,256 square-feet, and several new roads will be built — 33A, 34, 34A, 35, and 35A Avenues, and 209 Street. The Langley School District estimates the homes will add 42 new students for Noel Booth Elementary, and 22 new students for Brookswood Secondary.
Councillors Kim Richter and Petrina Arnason, who, along with Coun. David Davis, voted against the proposal, said they could not support the development due to the number of significant trees being lost.
There are 618 significant trees on the properties, of which 17 are proposed to be retained. A further 601 replacement trees are required, along with 70 street trees along the road frontages. A 4.5 metre-wide greenway is also required along the 208 Street frontage.
“The thing that really bothers me is about the number of significant trees that are on this property, and our decision to put the roads where (they) are going to knock the vast majority of these trees out,” Richter said.
“I think, given that this is part of Brookswood, we should be doing as much as we can to protect as many as those big trees down there. And I’m not convinced this is doing it.”
“I think it’s really important to recognize that even though you’re doing a replacement policy, that they can’t equal the aesthetics or the ecological value of the trees that we are now taking out,” Arnason added. “I don’t feel it even meets the spirit of the protection of the unique look of the larges trees of Brookswood-Fernridge.”
Coun. Blair Whitmarsh cited concerns with traffic that will be going in and out of the subdivision. He noted that the subdivision is located near the crest of a hill on 208 Street, and that people often “step on the gas and race down the road because they somehow feel like they’re now in the country.”
“I’m wondering what sort of thoughts have been around traffic flow off this 34A Avenue, and whether there’s thoughts around some sort of traffic control mechanism there — a light or one of those kinds of things — being that it’s almost like a race track right now,” he said.
Ramin Seifi, Township manager of engineering and community development, said that one of the requirements for the project to move forward is provision of a road network. That would provide a layout for the roads in the surrounding area and better show how this proposal will impact traffic flow.
Mayor Jack Froese was absent from the meeting.