People living on Fairway Avenue in Langford are frustrated. They say a two-building condo development is going to be built on their quiet street and that their neighbourhood is not suitable for a development of that size.
“Council is just destroying the residential neighbourhoods, one condo at a time,” said Chris Peterson, who lives on Fairway Avenue.
“It will impact our lives, definitely,” said Petra Bezna who also lives in the neighbourhood.
J. Scott is the spokesperson for Fairway Neighbours Unite. She has been fighting this proposal since she first heard about it.
“It’s not something that would work for the people who live here,” said Scott. “We’re against it.”
The group is against is a development proposal that originally asked for two 12-storey condo buildings to be erected between Goldstream Avenue and Fairway Avenue.
“The neighbourhood brought it to our attention that they were concerned about it being 12 storeys, so we asked the applicant to go back and see if they could lower it down a little shorter,” said Langford Mayor Stew Young. “That’s what they’ve done.”
On Jan. 11, Langford’s planning and zoning committee will get an updated plan from the developers. The updated proposal is expected to be for two buildings, a nine-storey tower and a six-storey development.
But even with reduced heights, homeowners in the area are still concerned about safety on their streets.
“If this were to go in at the size it’s proposed, there is going to be a huge issue with pedestrian safety,” said Scott.
Scott is concerned because the last proposal showed that all vehicle access in and out of the two buildings would come out onto Fairway Avenue.
“There’s no sidewalks, there’s no room for the cars, so we feel there isn’t enough infrastructure there to support it,” said Scott.
The mayor says that’s where the public hearing will come into play.
“That can be addressed at the planning and zoning committee,” said Young. “I won’t say for sure because it may or may not proceed, so it just depends on what they come up with at the planning and zoning committee.”
“That’s their (Fairway Neighbours Unite) opportunity to do that and then they (Planning and Zoning Committee) can say, ‘OK, put in sidewalks,’ or whatever else has to happen there,” added Young.
Members of Fairway Neighbours Unite feel they are not being heard due to Langford council’s lack of live-streaming meetings. Young says live-streaming will be implemented in the municipality’s new budget in the coming months.
Currently, council meetings are call-in only.
In the meantime, Scott has a request for City Hall.
“We respectfully ask mayor and council that they move this hearing back,” said Scott. “We want to be at the point where they are doing live-streaming because we have things we want to present.”
The mayor says that is not going to happen.
“This is a democratic process that we have, it’s legal and it’s all done properly,” said Young. “We’ve been doing it this way for eight months. The city has been working fine and we’re keeping people working.”
“If we did that there, then we’d do it for everyone, and everyone would be out of work right now,” Young added. “There would be no place for anyone to live and the affordable housing wouldn’t be built here in Langford.”
If the development makes it past the zoning and planning committee, it could be approved for construction at the next council meeting.