Residents living along the forested area at 950 Worrall Dr. and 804 Latoria Rd. received notices about the intent to rezone 73 acres of the land into a development. (Google Maps screenshot)

Residents living along the forested area at 950 Worrall Dr. and 804 Latoria Rd. received notices about the intent to rezone 73 acres of the land into a development. (Google Maps screenshot)

South Langford residents fight to save forested parcel of land

73-acre parcel of forested land could become a new development

A Langford community group is speaking up about a large parcel of forested land that could be rezoned into a development.

The Citizens of South Langford for Sustainable Development (CSLSD) is asking Langford to work towards the creation of a forested park, integrating both development and natural green space.

“We’re not anti-development, we just want to see it developed in a sustainable way,” said group member Nicole Polet.

The rezoning application would be for the 73-acre parcel of land at 950 Worrall Dr. and 804 Latoria Rd. which is privately owned by the Ridley Brothers Development Corp.

Polet has lived in a home bordering the land for five years, but said many in the CSLSD group have lived in the area for much longer. She said residents in her community currently use the forested area for hikes, workouts and recreation and said she event got married on one of the rock bluffs in there.

READ ALSO: Langford affordable housing development complete

“The whole community goes there, it’s super valuable,” Polet said. “Right now we’re already kind of using it as a park but if it’s a designated park more people can use it and enjoy it.”

Polet also noted that the area is home to a coastal Douglas fir ecosystem, Garry oak meadows and endangered species like the northern pygmy owl and sharp-tailed snake.

Last week, residents bordering the area were notified of the rezoning application that will be put forward to the planning committee on Mon. July 8. Since then, members of the CSLSD have been canvassing the community and looking for support.

Polet said since they began canvassing, several people have spoken up about disappearing green space in Langford. She said she thinks several people will be at Monday’s meeting to make their voices heard.

Langford Mayor Stew Young said the entire 73 acres will not go solely towards housing. As per city policy, 25 per cent of the land would be natural green space. The city is also asking for a school — which Young says is much needed in the area — and a turf field that the community can use for recreation.

READ ALSO: Three 12-storey wooden towers proposed for Langford core

Additionally, Young said he’d like to see a village centre as well so people living in the area have a place to get a coffee or buy some groceries.

“We’re attracting affordable housing and along with that we need them to be able to walk to their school, not drive,” Young said. “We’re building a community.”

Young said the community group is “absolutely right” about needing green space, but said back when the subdivision they live in was built, there were no requirements to preserve natural land.

“When [Polet’s] subdivision was done, there was no school, nothing, they just built it,” Young said. “We’re not doing that anymore in Langford and that’s what people need to recognize.”

Young also noted he is getting complaints from Langford residents who are in favour of affordable housing. He said the complainants have pointed out that the individuals asking to keep the land as a park live in homes many can’t afford.

Details about the development application have not been released yet, but the notice delivered to residents is proposing up to 400 homes that would be built on the land. The application is still in its very early stages and would need to be considered by Langford’s planning, zoning and affordable housing committee first before going to council. Then, council would decide whether or not to send it to the public hearing stage.

READ ALSO: Largest indoor soccer training facility in B.C. coming to Langford

“We’re in an affordable housing crisis and Langford is the only real one that’s actually building single-family homes which 80 per cent of the population in Canada wants,” Young said. “If you’re moving to Langford I want you to own an affordable house, have good new schools and have your kids in recreation and education and I want to make sure we have our trails and our green space…it’s a balance, it’s not one or the other.”

At Monday’s meeting, the CSLSC and other members of the public will present their reasons for wanting to preserve the green space and designate it as a park. Polet said she hopes Langford will listen to the community and incorporate amenities they are asking for. She also said she wants to see some of the more sensitive areas of the land parcel protected to ensure the endangered species are not harmed.

“People want natural green space and that’s what we want to see there,” Polet said.

shalu.mehta@goldstreamgazette.com


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Victoria-born, 16-time Grammy winning musician David Foster penned a letter to the Greater Victoria School District May 7 urging them not to cut music programs. (THE CANADIAN PRESS)
David Foster joins fight to save music in Greater Victoria School District

‘Music is the great equalizer’ Foster wrote in a letter to the district

‘Nindanikoobijiganag: We are Star People’ by Mississauga Nishnaabe Lucbanin artist Estrella Whetung. (Jane Skrypnek/News Staff)
Victoria beadwork exhibit speaks to evolving, enduring nature of Indigenous art

On Beaded Ground features work from West Coast artists and a Cedar Hill Middle School group

A seniors housing complex proposed for Cedar Hill Road in Saanich was supported by council after a public hearing on May 12. (Rendering by Jenson Group Architects)
New 85-unit seniors housing development gets green light from Saanich council

Four-storey rental complex would be located on Cedar Hill Road

Former Victoria HarbourCat and Chicago White Sox player Andrew Vaughn. (Photo courtesy of Chicago White Sox)
Former Victoria HarbourCat hits first MLB home run, adds another two days later

Andrew Vaughn is the first HarbourCat alumni to hit a homer in the majors

Daily confirmed COVID-19 cases reported to B.C. public health, seven-day rolling average in white, to May 12, 2021. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C. preparing ‘Restart 2.0’ from COVID-19 as June approaches

Daily infections fall below 500 Friday, down to 387 in hospital

On Friday, May 14 at Meadow Gardens Golf Club in Pitt Meadows, Michael Caan joined a very elite club of golfers who have shot under 60 (Instagram)
Crowds at English Bay were blasted with a large beam of light from an RCMP Air-1 helicopter on Friday, May 14. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Marc Grandmaison
Police enlist RCMP helicopter to disperse thousands crowded on Vancouver beach

On Friday night, police were witness to ‘several thousand people staying well into the evening’

Sinikka Gay Elliott was reported missing on Salt Spring Island on Wednesday, May 12. (Courtesty Salt Spring RCMP)
Body of UBC professor found on Salt Spring Island, no foul play suspected

Sinikka Elliott taught sociology at the university

The first Black judge named to the BC Supreme Court, Selwyn Romilly, was handcuffed at 9:15 a.m. May 14 while walking along the seawall. (YouTube/Screen grab)
Police apologize after wrongly arresting B.C.’s first Black Supreme Court Justice

At 81 years old, the retired judge was handcuffed in public while out for a walk Friday morning

Queen Elizabeth II and Clive Holland, deputy commonwealth president of the Royal Life Saving Society, top left, virtually present Dr. Steve Beerman, top right, with the King Edward VII Cup for his drowning-prevention work. Tanner Gorille and Sarah Downs were honoured with Russell Medals for their life-saving resuscitation. (Buckingham Palace photo)
Queen presents Vancouver Island doctor with award for global drowning prevention

Dr. Steve Beerman receives Royal Life Saving Society’s King Edward VII Cup at virtual ceremony

Former UFV Cascades wrestling coach Arjan Singh Bhullar is now the ONE heavyweight champion after defeating Brandon Vera via TKO in round two on Saturday in Singapore. (ONE Championship)
Former UFV wrestling coach wins MMA championship

Arjan Singh Bhullar captures ONE heavyweight title, first Indian origin fighter to achieve honour

Astra Zeneca vaccine waits for injection in a Feb. 3, 2021 file photo. A Langley man has become the second B.C. resident to suffer a blood clot following an injection. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)
B.C. man required emergency surgery after AstraZeneca vaccination

Shaun Mulldoon suffered ‘massive blood clot’ after jab

Chilliwack’s Kile Brown, performing as drag queen Hailey Adler, dances and lip syncs in front of hundreds of people during the inaugural Chilliwack Pride Barbecue at the Neighbourhood Learning Centre on Aug. 24, 2019. Monday, May 17 is International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of May 16 to 22

International Day Against Homophobia, Talk Like Yoda Day, Sea Monkey Day all coming up this week

Most Read