Langford residents join to oppose apartment building on single-family residential street

Residents of a quiet Langford neighbourhood are banding together to oppose potential development of a residential apartment building on their street.

The building is proposed on eight properties at the intersection of Fairway Avenue and Goldstream Avenue, an area currently home to single-family residences.

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“It’s an abomination. It’s going to shred the neighbourhood,” said J. Scott, who has lived on Fairway Avenue for 18 years.

Scott is concerned the project will transform the narrow street where neighbours have become good friends and families teach their children to ride bikes. She’s worried about an increase in traffic that the new units would likely bring, parking issues and a lack of green space.

Twenty-six neighbours attended an event Sunday afternoon to show their opposition to the proposal.

Scott said she’s worried the city will try to push the project through under the radar amid the pandemic. “It’s Langford. They’re so developer-friendly.”

A Langford city staffer described the project as a residential apartment building with commercial space on the ground floor in its early days of planning.

The city said the project went to Langford’s planning and zoning committee in May 2019, but the developer, Design Build Services, amended the proposal after acquiring more land. The proposal has to return to the committee for review.

Following review, the project would need a zoning permit, development permit and building permit before construction.

The public will be notified of the proposal when the development is ready to go to council for consideration. The city will listen to residents’ comments at a public hearing via a teleconferencing system. A hearing has not been scheduled, but Mayor Stew Young said it would be held within 30 days of the project coming to council.

Young said it’s too early to comment on the project, which likely won’t come before council for another month.

“Everybody gets the chance through the public process to say what they want, but we haven’t even got there yet,” he said.

“Hopefully the applicant will work with the neighbourhood and talk to them ahead of time to see what the concerns are, so they can do that even before they come to council, as well.”

Rebecca McKay, who works in marketing for Design Build Services, said it would be inappropriate and unprofessional for the company to release any information about the project to the public before the city received their proposal.

“We are not withholding any information but rather, we are showing respect for the procedure that council has put in place. We have a good working relationship with the city and want to follow their direction,” she said. “Furthermore, once the project is before council for their review, the city will notify the neighbours in the vicinity of the project so that they may review what council is considering. We are unable to provide further information right now.”

Design Build Services is based in Langford and has built more than 10 commercial and residential buildings in the municipality, including Danbrook One, an 11-storey high-rise that had its occupancy permit revoked last year, months after residents moved in, because it was deemed unsafe due to the way it was built.

regan-elliott@timescolonist.com

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