Thursday - June 6, 2024 - Langley could get 20-storey skyscrapers

MISSION FOLK MUSIC FESTIVAL

☀ High 21C

Good morning!

Today’s intro is brought to you by the last of four weeks single-parenting, and a chai tea latte that appeared at my front door.

When I first started dating my marine-engineer husband, communication was limited to email, with some disruptions when he sailed out of internet range. I felt lucky. Before email, sailors had to use their ship’s radio to call loved ones in an elaborate game of telephone tag via multiple operators—and in full hearing of anyone with a high frequency radio. (It was not uncommon for every other crew member to hear important news before the intended did.)

But now I am luckier still: instead of being limited to email, internet connections have improved so much that my kids can have a video call with their dad nearly every day. He can send pictures of himself at work to a digital photo frame by their beds. He can send “breakfast in bed” to the front door on my birthday—an event my daughter still talks about nearly a year later.

We could suffer through a month apart. But I am glad that modern inventions mean my family doesn’t have to. To quote my husband: “Satellite internet is a wonderful thing.”

– Grace

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Traffic & Weather

🌤 Local forecast: Langley | Chilliwack | Abbotsford | Hope

🚘 Driving today? Check the current traffic situation via Google, and find DriveBC’s latest updates.

🛣 Click here for links to road cameras across the Fraser Valley, including those for the Coquihalla, Highway 7, Hope-Princeton, Fraser Canyon, and Highway 1 in Langley and Abbotsford.

NEWS

A decade of change in Chilliwack

From new ways of living to increasing education levels, Chilliwack’s neighbourhoods have changed a lot between 2011 and 2021. 📸 Grace Kennedy

Chilliwack residents are increasingly living in multi-generational households and with roommates, according to a new report put together for the City of Chilliwack.

It’s not the only insight from the report, which details statistics at the neighbourhood level from 2011 to 2021. City-wide, residents are more likely to be more educated than 10 years earlier, and three sectors employ one-third of all workers. And some neighbourhoods are feeling the housing crisis much more than others: Sardis housing costs remained dirt cheap for many lucky homeowners, while Hillside residents were largely living in unaffordable housing.

The new profiles provide a fascinating snapshot of Chilliwack in 2021, with a number of key insights on how Chilliwack has changed since the 2010s.

Related

Need to Know

📢 Four politicians are calling for changes to the board of Metro Vancouver, which covers municipalities between Vancouver and Langley, after cost overruns and controversy [Global News]

🩺 A Mission nurse is being disciplined after being found to have a lack of knowledge about patient care [Mission Record]

✂ Township mayor Eric Woodward says he will split Langley RCMP whether the city likes it or not; Langley City mayor Nathan Pachal disagrees [Langley Advance Times]

🏠 Chilliwack council says the province’s new housing rules are ‘undemocratic’ [Chilliwack Progress]

🔎 Hope RCMP are investigating after a travel trailer was stolen from a home in Yale Tuesday [Fraser Valley Today]

🐦 A Langley woman and her Elvis-loving cockatoo have been living in a van for months, like a growing number of seniors in the area [Langley Advance Times]

💔 A man is dead after being hit by a train in Chilliwack Wednesday morning [Chilliwack Progress]

🏫 Abbotsford’s John Maclure Community School will be getting a new $195k playground [Abbotsford News]

🚑 Two men were seriously injured while riding ATVs near Harrison Lake Tuesday [Fraser Valley Today]

🎆 Fireworks will not light up the sky for Harrison’s Canada Day celebrations this year [Agassiz Harrison Observer]

🚲 HUB Cycling’s Spring Go by Bike returns to Metro Vancouver from June 3-9! Check out their list of six things you need to know to make your bike commute something to look forward to.*

🛶 The continent's biggest race, the region's first public drone show, and more hit False Creek at the Concord Pacific Dragon Boat Festival June 22-23! Click here for info!*

*Sponsored Listing

SPONSORED BY THE MISSION FOLK MUSIC FESTIVAL 2024

Your passport to a world of music

Find Your Folk at the 37th annual Mission Folk Music Festival (July 26-28). Music lovers from all over the Valley are invited to Fraser River Heritage Park for a glorious weekend of global beats, folk songs, blues riffs, Celtic tunes and more. Over 20 acts from across North America and beyond will be there.

Hear Kobo Town’s Trinidadian rhythms, the powerful songs of Innu singer, Shauit, trend-setting music from Sweden’s Fränder – your day or weekend ticket is your passport to a world of tunes. Come experience the wonder of crankies, family fun with Wee Folks activities, Recychestra with Boris Sichon, the Artisan Market, Food Court – there’s lots for all ages to discover and enjoy.

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Become an Insider member and help keep local journalism and storytelling alive in the Fraser Valley.

The Agenda

Langley City could see buildings over 20 storeys tall near its future SkyTrain stations thanks to new provincial rules. 📷 City of Langley

New housing rules could see 20-storey buildings in Langley City

BC’s new rules for transit-oriented areas could see Langley City speckled with buildings more than 20-storeys high in the future. (We first reported on what these new rules mean for the Fraser Valley in November of last year.)

New provincial legislation intended to increase the amount of available housing in BC has ruled that certain areas with access to SkyTrain and some bus exchanges will need to allow skyscrapers with reduced parking options. The rules set new minimum allowable heights and densities for buildings in the specified transit areas. This means that municipalities aren’t allowed to stop developments that are at or below the minimum, and can use their discretion to allow buildings to exceed those heights.

The minimum heights depend on how close a building is to the station or exchange. Within 200m of a SkyTrain station, buildings can be 20-storeys; at 400m away, they can be 12 storeys, and 800m away, they can be eight storeys. For bus exchanges, buildings up to 200m away can be 12 storeys tall, and buildings up to 400m away can be eight storeys tall. All those buildings will be able to eschew Langley’s minimum parking requirements, although they will still need to provide accessible stalls.

With two SkyTrain stations slated for Langley—one near the Willowbrook Mall and another near Fraser Highway and 203 Street—and a bus exchange already in place on Glover Road, future development in the northern part of Langley City could feature highrises. However, it’s not guaranteed. The zoning changes don’t mean buildings have to be that high, only that council can’t veto a project if it is at or under the minimum height. Developers could still choose to provide more parking, or build less dense housing.

The Langley SkyTrain stations have yet to be built. The province hired a team to begin designing and building eight new stations for the Surrey-Langley extension in April, and said “major construction” is expected to begin later this year. (People can now offer their input on station design, and an open house will be held in Langley at the end of June.) The extension is expected to open in 2028.

The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure said that new density rules come into play once the updated bylaw is adopted, regardless of whether the station is built or not. Langley City gave first and second reading to its updated zoning bylaw on Monday, and will need to fully pass it before June 30 to comply with provincial legislation.

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🗓 Things to do this week/end

🍽 Pioneer dinner: The Township of Langley is looking for people who have lived in the community for more than 60 years to participate in its pioneer luncheon on Saturday, June 8. Details online.

🎉 Kid festival: The Fraser Valley Children’s Festival returns to Fraser River Heritage Park on Sunday, June 9 from 10am to 4pm. Visit to hear live music, participate in engaging dance sessions, explore crafts, and play games. Details online.

🚲 Bike race: Cycle along Chilliwack River in a 55K or 100K gravel race on Saturday, June 8 for the 2024 Run for Water. Details online.

Want even more? Insider members get a comprehensive events listing every Thursday, plus a weekly Saturday round-up edition with behind-the-scenes content. Becoming a member costs less than $2 a week and helps support the ongoing production of The Current’s newsletters and in-depth journalism. Become a member here.

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Catch up

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