Langley to hear pitch on waterfront venture

LANGLEY — A developer who’s interested in developing the city’s waterfront will make a presentation to city council next week.

Brian Stowell will tell city officials and residents about his vision for a commercial development that could include a building that could reach from Wharf Street to the street level of Cascade Avenue and would have an elevator for public use, said City Administrator Walt Blackford.

The regular city council meeting has been rescheduled for Thursday due to the Fourth of July holiday. It is set for 6:30 p.m.

July 5 at city hall.

City officials said earlier this month that Langley had been approached by two parties interested in development along the city shoreline.

It’s been hush-hush since then, and Langley officials have not named the developers until now.

Details about the proposed pro-ject are unknown at this point. No official proposal has been submitted to the city.

“It’s too soon,” Blackford said, adding that the developer is only brainstorming at this point.

City officials had found themselves amidst a firestorm of controversy when city planner Larry Cort made a presentation in early June that detailed how city rules from the current comprehensive plan, the Shoreline Master Program and the municipal code would apply to new development along the shoreline, and how the regulations could be changed to allow more intense development.

Mayor Neil Colburn had requested the briefing because two potential developers had expressed interest in the waterfront and Colburn said their proposals had an “overwhelming public benefit.”

It has been a longtime goal for the city to create a more attractive and economic viable waterfront.

Development could also help stabilize the bluff area.

Code changes would have included height limits on new buildings in the neighborhood business zone and the nearby central business district.

However, city council decided to put potential code changes on hold until the city’s growth plan is updated.

Critics of the proposed changes to development rules feared the revised regulations would hurt the bluff and the environment. Langley residents also feared the views would be jeopardized and some presented worst-case scenarios of how development could harm Langley’s waterfront.

Langley officials have not yet named the second developer that has had talks with city officials.

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