Langley will vote on developer’s request to petition

Once again, in September, Langley City Council will attempt to make a decision whether or not to allow developers to petition to annex a portion of Coles Road.

To allow more people to attend the meeting and hear the decision, Langley City Council decided at their Aug. 20 meeting to move the meeting to a larger venue. The meeting will be held at 6:30 p.m. Sept. 3 in the Fellowship Hall at the Langley United Methodist Church.

Mayor Lloyd Furman said this week limited public comments are still a possibility for the meeting.

“I haven’t decided fully yet,” said Furman.

Furman said his office has been swamped with letters and “hundreds” of e-mails regarding the council’s consideration of annexing 40 acres of property on Coles Road, property a group of developers hope to use for a residential subdivision.

“I think we have a good idea of how people feel,” he said.

Jeff Johnson, a developer for NJB Development in Bellingham, said he and his partners hope to address Langley City Council at the meeting, something they had hoped to do Aug. 20, but were not given time. If they are given permission to petition for annexation, he said they will begin creating some preliminary ideas for a housing development, something South Whidbey residents have been asking to see since July. Without the permission to petition, planning at this stage would be premature, he said.

“We’re a little cautious to present something when we don’t even have the OK,” Johnson said.

Johnson said he and his partners are aware some areas of the property are environmentally sensitive, but until given the permission to petition, no studies will be done to determine how many of the 40 acres could be developed.

“All along we’ve known there is going to be some areas of open space and critical areas,” said Johnson. “Our intent all along is to work with the community to come up with a plan that people think is appropriate.”

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