A Langford developer is holding a public consultation on Monday about a parcel of land that has sparked controversy amongst South Langford residents.
In July, Ridley Bros. Development Ltd. applied to rezone forested lands bordering 804 Latoria Rd. and 950 Worrall Dr. to allow for a 450-home development. It would be a mix of single-family homes on small lots, townhouses, recreational amenities, a community facility and a potential school site.
The parcel of land is 73-acres and the development has raised concern over nearby residents, many of whom are part of a group called the Citizens of South Langford Sustainable Development (CSLSD). The group said it sees the parcel of land as a “community treasure” and brought out several residents to a July planning, zoning and affordable housing committee meeting to raise their concerns with council. They want a forested park to be created in the area instead, integrating development and natural green space.
“The neighbourhood and a lot of people in South Langford in general are concerned about the sustainability of the development and what they’re proposing to put in there,” said Nicole Polet a member of CSLSD. “There are some sensitive ecosystems we feel they’re not doing their due diligence.”
Committee voted to bring the development proposal to council with the amendments that 30 per cent of the land – as opposed to the standard 25 per cent – be designated green space and that the developer is to have another public consultation before going to council.
The consultation is going to be held on Sept. 30 from 7 to 9 p.m. at Royal Bay Secondary in the aviary.
Polet said the CSLSD is hoping to see a similar turnout to what was seen in the July committee meeting.
“It’s people’s chance to learn more about the proposal and have their voices heard,” Polet said.
The group wants to see what consideration has been put into the proposal when it comes to the ecology of the land parcel. Members have also come up with a counter-proposal that they feel will benefit the community but maintain profit for the developer and city, Polet said.
“Basically the idea of the proposal is not to say you can’t develop this land but rather develop it and set aside a portion of the most ecologically sensitive area of the parcel as a park for the whole community to benefit from,” Polet said.
While the 30 per cent of green space will consist of playing fields and back yards, Polet said the group would rather see a continuous piece of land on the parcel – making up about 40 acres – of green space.
“We want to preserve the integrity of the land to allow for wildlife corridors and save endangered species on the land,” Polet said.
The group also hopes that they can express that they are not against the development itself.
“We just want to see it developed responsibly in a way that the community can get behind,” Polet said.