Talking Willoughby, Brookswood, roads & marijuana with candidate Gary Hee…
The other week I sent a questionnaire to almost (I couldn’t find an email for a few) every candidate running for Council (not Mayor). The questions were intended to be nonpartisan, important, and focused on the future of Langley. I deeply appreciate the responses received as it would have taken these candidates serious time to respond. I hope that if you like the responses provided that you’ll share the posts of your favourite candidates. These posts are NOT endorsements of any candidate and the answers have NOT been edited. -Brad Richert
BRAD: Do you have a tangible solution for solving the highly perceived traffic woes in Willoughby, especially along 208th Street, 80th Avenue and 72nd Avenue.
GARY: Road side ditches are not needed and should be covered as shoulders lanes for left turning use or as merging lanes onto through lines. Many over size and over weigh trucks are not compatible with narrow lines and intersections. Gross Vehicle Weight limitation signage may be a tool to restrict such commercial vehicles fro entering residential areas.
BRAD: Do you believe that road design in Willoughby’s NCPs are adequate for a build out population of 80,000-100,000? If not, do you believe they can be improved, if so, how?
GARY: The presence of semi trailer trucks and trailer attached gravel trucks on turning at 208th and 72nd intersection should be restricted to through lanes only or left outside truck lanes where provided.
BRAD: Please provide up to 3 items that you believe can be improved in Brookswood’s NCPs that were missed in Willoughby’s planning. Will you advocate for these improvements before adopting further NCPs?
GARY: Cross walks have been neglected and are deteriorating. All marked areas need ZEBRA LINES as the standard since 2 lines standard is obsolete. Zebra lines SAVES LIVES and DRIVERS respect clearer visibility SAFER design.
BRAD: A recent application for at Shepherd of the Valley in Willoughby was passed unanimously (absent Councillor Richter), changing the NCP zoning of Institutional/church to a high density comprehensive development zoning. Do you view NCPs in Willoughby (and soon Brookswood) to be very flexible “living documents” or do you maintain holding to a more strict interpretation of an NCP?
GARY: Townhouse and condominium construction is a developers best method for making a profitable project. However traffic congestion and fire hazard conditions are fire fighters nightmares. But duplexes or triplexes are the type of construction that maintains sensible tranquillity in these neighbourhoods like Brookwood and Fort Langley etc. Schools should not be over crowded.
BRAD: The Williams plan is moving forward with a traditional suburban style commercial core at the new 216th Street interchange. Do you believe for this plan adequately “future-proofs” the Northeast quadrant of Willoughby?
GARY: If Willoughby has serious growing problems now that are experienced in 2018, the Council should listen and avoid doubling the problem situation in other areas with older infrastructure and essential services. A slow down in construction is a solution which the real estate industry does not like but should heed if the Williams plan is to be victimized.
BRAD: Brookswood is moving forward with simultaneous NCPs. Do you support this? Explain. Should one NCP be done at a time. If so, which area is priority?
GARY: Trial method or beta testing is a common means of detecting problematic issues. Essential services are greatly affected negatively by careless actions by individuals and by governments.
BRAD: Phased development has been discussed for Brookswood, but no mechanism is yet in place. Do you support phased development such as in South Surrey’s Grandview neighbourhood? Explain.
GARY: Phase one is a start. But doing all phases is chaotic.
BRAD: Parking is a common issue in many neighbourhoods in Langley, yet enjoys some of the most relaxed parking allowances in the region. Should new developments have more parking or less? Are there other parking-related solutions in your platform?
GARY: Free Park and Ride spaces on Translink lots or car pooling and car sharing if feasible.
BRAD: Higher density in Langley is suggested as a means to increase housing affordability, pay for amenities/infrastructure and protect ALR land. Agree or disagree? Explain.
GARY: Residential Endowment Land owned by multi-government agency for renting to cooperatives for leasing service lots to members with prefabricate mobile build units and supplied with garden plots near Agricultural Land Reserve perimeter.
BRAD: Some communities are banning the smoking of legal marijuana in all public places. Some are restricting the use of the substance in a fashion similar to tobacco cigarettes. What are your views on a potential municipal bylaw?
GARY: Culture revolution with social intentions for radical group without concerned for health and mental development. Medical professionals warnings are in effect but youth generation fail to listen. Listen to the medical profession , not the far left political leader in the sitting government seeking donations for advertising.