By Monique Tamminga - Langley Times
Published December 23, 2009
|From Trinity Western University Photos|
Ten to 20 years from now, Trinity Western University might turn unused agricultural land into university space, including boutique-style housing for graduates, married students and undergraduate housing, said TWU’s Glen Forrester, head of campus planning.
He was speaking to a group of around 30 residents who came to a TWU public meeting on Dec. 10, concerned about how these possible changes will impact their property values and sight lines.
While the meeting was tentatively set for 4 to 8 p.m., it wrapped up early, leaving some property owners arriving to an empty room. TWU representatives met with those people at a later time.
Out of 72 acres available across the street from TWU, the private Christian university would be interested in developing 16 acres. Most of that would be untouched, with outbuildings for outdoor research, he said.
The Littles own 57 acres of the land, all of which is in a long-term agreement with TWU that it can be developed for university purposes only.
The second parcel of land, 9.3 acres, is owned by a numbered Alberta company that is a benefactor to TWU and would sell. The third parcel, 5.4 acres, is owned by the Township which has expressed interest in exchanging its Glover Road frontage property for a back portion of the Littles’ land to continue with the Township’s Arbour Ribbon that stretches through Redwoods Golf Course and farther east.
Residents, all of them owning large acreage around this proposal, live on or off Labonte Avenue and are concerned about plans by the Township to build a road connecting 80 Avenue to Labonte.
“The traffic would be horrendous,” remarked one resident, who believes all the students would use that road to cut through from Willoughby to the university.
But the road and the parcels of land can be created without approval of the Agricultural Land Commission.
“Also, the Township will be seeking public input and then it would be put to council for a vote,” said Township’s planning director Ramin Seifi at the public meeting.
The Township is looking to put in water lines through the area where the road would go, said Township’s Paul Cordeiro. Currently, water service runs up Glover but ends at the Jardine crossing.
Several farms butt up against the proposed land for development, including one woman’s property that is sandwiched in between the potential student housing. Forrester said they may be open to purchasing properties.
There are no plans to move fast on this. TWU is looking to build a chapel and centre on campus first, as well as an entirely new campus in Richmond.
Those are the current priorities.
Trinity has 900 student housing units and has capacity for 4,000 students but wants to grow to around 6,000.
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