The City of Langford took a step towards greater densification by passing second and third readings on several developments that would add over 900 units in the downtown area.
The rezoning applications were for four developments, three of which are multi-storey housing developments, including a 24-storey building at 2746 Peatt Rd., which would be the second tallest residential structure in the region. The other residential building on the lot, which extends back to Scafe Road, calls for 18 stories and 271 family oriented units.
Langford Mayor Stew Young said at council’s Nov. 17 meeting the developments are in line with the official community plan, which was updated in 2008, and are the right move as Langford continues to grow.
“I don’t want to do urban sprawl anymore,” he said. “In a downtown core, you can’t be prosperous, you can’t have vitality with single family homes in the downtown core.”
Four buildings ranging from 13 to 22 stories are proposed for Arncote Avenue between Peatt and Sunderland roads, totalling 456 residential units, and two six-storey multi-family buildings built at 1365 Goldstream Ave. would hold 102 residential units.
The fourth rezoning application is to build 11 single-family detached homes and 60 townhouses near the intersection of Luxton and Hazelwood roads.
“The future of Langford in the next 25 years years has to be looked at – are we going to build four-storey buildings or densify and have a downtown core?” Young said.
The move toward greater densification is not without its opponents.
Dozens of residents called into the public hearings for the developments during the Nov. 17 meeting. Many were in favour of the developments, but others also voiced concerns about their impact on traffic and parking and that they might negatively affect neighbouring gardens.
Coun. Lillian Szpak wanted residents to have the chance to vote on how tall towers should be, but Young said decisions about height were made by council during public hearings. She and Coun. Denise Blackwell voted against the two developments with the tallest towers.
Coun. Lanny Seaton said Langford has changed a lot since he moved to the community in the 1950s, and that council should “start thinking about where the kids are going to live.”
Young added that anyone who wants to protect their property from future development should put it under a covenant and the city would uphold that.