INITIALLY, the developer, Design Build Services proposed two 12-storey buildings, one fronting on to Goldstream and the other onto Fairway, with all access from Fairway. Community members in the mostly single family neighbourhood objected strenuously through a petition and letters to council. By the time the proposal reached Langford’s Planning, Zoning and Affordable Housing Committee in January 2020, the proposal was for 9- and 6-storey buildings and, by the end of the meeting, Design Build Services, agreed to two 6-storey buildings.
Artist’s rendering of Design Build Services’ proposal
The Fairway Neighbours Unite for a Liveable Langford group is still pushing for 4-storey buildings, a sidewalk along the entire length of Fairway, instead of only in front of the development, and an entrance/exit on Goldstream—something Fairway residents are adamant is needed to prevent the quiet street from becoming a busy thoroughfare.
The developer, Design Build Services, is the same company that developed Danbrook One, a 90-unit Langford highrise that was evacuated a year ago after being deemed unsafe.
Early in February, Fairway Neighbours Unite condemned the removal of houses on Fairway before the required zoning change had been approved, though the City of Langford has already signalled it is expanding the “City Centre” zone to include the area.
On February 16, the proposal for two six-storey buildings passed First Reading at council; it expected to head to public hearing in March.
Resident Chris Peterson told Focus: “We understand development will happen and accept that, but, when everything around you is three or four storeys and council says it doesn’t see a problem with a new 6- or 12-storey building blotting out your access to sunlight or the total loss of privacy at your family dwelling, then it is time to ask what gives,” he said, adding, “Council always has time for developers, but, if you are a private citizen, complaining about a proposal, council is quick to let you know they don’t care or your complaint isn’t relevant to the proposal.”
The Goldstream/Fairway proposal and similar developments moving into what have been single-family neighbourhoods are causing more dissent than Langford council has witnessed in the past, including around wider issues such as lack of transparency and timely information. Langford, for instance, still does not livestream council meetings or make the video available to the public, despite receiving a $4.8-million COVID-19 Safe Restart Grant from the Province. It does do audio recordings which the Fairfield neighbourhood says are poor quality.
See Judith Lavoie’s Focus report on “Strains over growth and transparency in Langford.”