The public notice regarding the creation of a new zone in Langford didn’t mention there would be no height restrictions on buildings. Since May 2020, Langford has reached out to developers for input on details for the city centre zones that council was considering. In that year from initial staff report to public hearing, there were no requests for residents’ input through open houses, information sessions, or surveys.
There are now two proposals for a total (in phase 1) of five high-rise towers scheduled for public hearing . The first reading for these was added to the agenda just hours before the Oct. 18 council meeting. That last-minute addition deprived residents of any advance notice of an opportunity to address council at that time.
In addition to concerns raised regarding these towers with over 700 units, including increased traffic, insufficient parking, and increased demand on already strained services such as ambulance and fire, people are speaking out about the transparency and fundamental fairness of the process that is being followed, particularly the lack of engagement with residents regarding something that will significantly change the look and livability of Langford.
Residents are asking to have a say in the projects that are being proposed and decisions that are being made. It is not sufficient to merely check off boxes in terms of minimal notice and public hearings that don’t result in any discussion amongst council members subsequently to address residents’ comments. We are simply asking to be included in the conversation.