Tuesday - May 21, 2024 - Abbotsford not building enough homes

🌧 High 14C

Good morning!

My sister and I sat on the couch last week, reminiscing about hockey while the Canucks were narrowly defeated by the Oilers. I wanted to tell you about our memories of our first experience with a professional hockey game—but it turns out memory is a fickle snapshot.

I remember distinctly the long drive to Vancouver, surrounded by vehicles bearing Canucks stickers and flags. I remember the team-branded white towels draped over the back of our seats, and that I really liked the name St. Louis Blues because it sounded jazzy. I remember being confused by everyone seemingly booing our goalie each time he saved a shot. (This one would perplex me for a long time.) But I also remember a 50-minute ceremony for Markus Naslund when they retired his jersey—something that I’m fairly certain didn’t happen at a playoff game against the Blues.

I’ve been to less than a handful of games in my life, and it’s not surprising they’ve all blurred together. And it doesn’t matter much either. When you’re not a sports-person, hockey games are all about the vibes anyway—and that is what sticks with you in the end.

– 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.


Langley City says no to more downtown daycares

Langley City is looking to prevent new daycares from opening up in its downtown core. The area is a popular place for childcare facilities because of its proximity to Douglas Park. (Each child represents a daycare in Langley’s downtown.) 📷 Grace Kennedy

Langley City’s council doesn’t want any more daycares in its downtown core—and the solution may be to treat them like vape shops.

Last week, council voted in favour of a ban new childcare facilities from opening within 400 metres of another daycare on Langley’s one-way strip—effectively stopping any new facilities from setting up shop downtown.

The move—which still requires a public hearing and another vote but was endorsed by the bulk of council—wouldn’t affect the downtown’s five existing daycares, but it could make it harder for prospective daycare operators to find spaces in the fast growing community. It could also make it more challenging for Langley City to meet its self-imposed goal of adding 150 childcare spaces each year.


Need to Know

🚂 The train at the Greater Vancouver Zoo in Aldergrove caught fire last week [Aldergrove Star]

Abbotsford’s school district approved six new courses, including ‘Basketball Foundations 10-12’ [Abbotsford News]

👟 Mission will be adding pedestrian-friendly bollards to a Stave Lake Street intersection [Mission Record]

🎤 Premier David Eby will speak to a business crowd in Abbotsford today [Langley Advance Times]

☑ The overdose death of a university student in Victoria has led the province to promise better access to nasal-spray-naloxone [Vancouver Sun]

👉 A Chilliwack man says mobile home tenants should be compensated better when developers buy up trailer parks [Chilliwack Progress]

🚚 Langley Township gave the OK to a large 100-truck parking lot [Aldergrove Star]

🧪 A suspected drug lab was found in the Mission area [Mission Record]

👏 An Abbotsford woman started a new charity to help cancer patients after she and her husband were both diagnosed with the disease [Abbotsford News]

🔽 Crime rates have been declining in Chilliwack [Fraser Valley Today]

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The Agenda

Abbotsford needs to build 624 more homes by September to meet its province-mandated housing goal. 📷 ungvar/Shutterstock

Abbotsford lagging on home-building target

Abbotsford is going to have to play catch up if it hopes to meet housing targets set by the provincial government.

Last fall, the city was one of the first 10 municipalities to be told it needs to facilitate the building of a set number of new homes over the next five years. If it meets the target, it will receive funding. But the province has warned that it may intervene in communities that don’t look like they will meet their targets. The goal is to provide more homes to meet the increasing demand for housing and, hopefully, keep rents and house prices from rising much higher.

Six months into the first reporting period, 427 homes have been completed in Abbotsford, while 24 have been demolished, according to a report to council. That leaves the city about 39% towards its goal of 1,027 home completions for the first year (October 2023 to September 2024). To meet that first year’s goal, 624 additional homes will need to be built by September. Staff say that while completions are lagging, approvals and policy work should allow the city to meet its targets.

Next year, Abbotsford’s target is 1,164 homes. But in subsequent years the target will progressively increase as, the province hopes, regulatory changes allow for increasing numbers of homes to be built.

The province doesn’t just set figures for total homes, but also for certain types of dwellings. Between October 2023 and September of 2028, it wants 7,240 homes built in Abbotsford. Of those, it wants 3,753 new rentals, of which 2,331 units should be leased at below-market rates. So far, 167 rental units have been constructed, of which just 60 are below-market homes.


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🗓 Things to do

Willy Wonka: Heritage Christian Online School is showcasing its production of Roald Dahl’s Willy Wonka from Wednesday to Saturday at the Chilliwack Cultural Centre. Tickets online.

Garage sale: Langley is hosting its Township-wide garage sale on Saturday starting at 9am. A map of participating garage sales is available online.

May Day: The 104th Bradner May Day is here on May 25. Celebration breakfast starts at 8am, community parade at 10am, and a traditional maypole dance at 10:30am. Details online.

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Catch up

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