Langford city council announces its first draft strategic plan
A preview into needed expansions
Langford. Photo: James MacDonald / Capital Daily
After months of collaborative hard work, the Langford city council recently announced the publication of a first draft strategic plan. The plan was designed to address the complex issues facing municipalities across the province and prioritizes issues such as rapid regional population growth, the need for expanded public health and education services, affordable housing, social inequities, and climate change. In response to these challenges, it centres around six pillars; sustainable development, climate change and environmental stewardship, economic development, transportation, good governance, and quality of life.
Last year, Capital Daily reported that Langford had experienced a 31% growth over six years, making it the fastest growing municipality on Vancouver Island. More people brings more demands on public services and infrastructure and the strategic plan recognizes an urgent need to respond to these rapid changes while carefully considering the environmental, fiscal and social impacts of the response itself.
Some of the highlights from the plan include the reduction of car traffic, the augmentation of mass transit and networked regional transportation, economic development through tourism and film, affordable housing through land use and tenant assistance policies, the development of a Climate Action Master Plan and sustainable urban densifying initiatives. In order to reach its goals, council hopes to increase its staff numbers to aid in planning and implementation and has already secured funding for many of the proposed projects.
As a reflection of the plan’s emphasis on active democracy and community consultation, the Langford city council has invited constituents to participate in a feedback survey that it launched on Sept. 21. Council has also planned a number of community engagement events, including an open house on Wednesday, Oct. 4 from 3-8pm as well as council engagement pop-ups on Oct. 7 and 10 where members of the community are invited to share ideas, concerns and support. More details about these events can be found on the city’s website.
After months of working alongside her colleagues, councilor Mary Wagner is excited about the announcement. “We have a great city here, but it’s growing and changing fast, so a Strategic Plan is so important to guide our next steps.” Their hope is that the plan will make Langford a more sustainable, safe, prosperous and inclusive city.