Two townhouse development proposals had differing fortunes in front of Langford council during a recent meeting.
First reading was given to a rezoning application for a 92-unit townhouse development for 2621 Sooke Rd. and 3260 Jacklin Rd., a heavily treed swath of land between the two roads.
The decision to move the application forward was opposed by Coun. Lillian Szpak, who voiced concern over the removal of the urban forest. Council should be working on implementing Avi Friedman’s vision, she said, and preserving more trees and avoiding such developments that remove greenspace.
“That time is now maybe passing in Langford.”
Coun. Matt Sahlstrom said he had lived in the area behind the properties for 42 years and that one of the existing homes has become dilapidated, making the new development a welcome addition in his eyes.
The proposal must still be subject to a public hearing at a later date.
Also at the March 21 meeting, a rezoning application for 936 and 942 Klahanie Dr. to allow for construction of 10 single-family lots, two duplexes and a townhouse site was sent back to staff with council directing them to work on a lower density plan for the site.
Coun. Lanny Seaton said the area wouldn’t be safe for a residential area, as there are no sidewalks along Klahanie Drive – the area is currently zoned as rural residential.
Several members of the public called in to the March 21 meeting to voice opposition to the proposal, criticizing it for its impacts on green space in the Happy Valley area and contributing to urban sprawl – which Langford has been trying to move away from as it looks to densify.
“I’m in the downtown core and if we’re expected to have towers and such an increase density here, in trade-off we would really like to protect urban sprawl and the green areas in Happy Valley,” said resident Mary Wagner.