Developers present new concept to Langley Council

An ongoing discussion over a proposed Coles Road development took a small step forward during Monday’s Langley City Council meeting.

Council members gave unanimous approval for a developer to prepare a memorandum of understanding, or MOU, that will establish procedural steps for the proposed community design to inch its way from a concept to a concrete application submittal.

The property owners, South Whidbey LLC, attended the council meeting, as did local architect Ross Chapin, who presented the basic concepts and ideas for the proposed alternative development concept.

Though everything is in proposal stages at this point and is fluid based on planning, approvals, zoning and community input, the basic concept shared by Chapin during the city council meeting is for what’s loosely termed a “sociable neighborhood.”

To be built on 40 acres just south of the wastewater treatment plant, the project aims to center the design around incorporating multi-faceted living spaces.

Examples of potential uses within the community include single-family homes, assisted living for elderly family members, shared homes, cottage-style “Cabo” units and tiny-house clusters for singles or small families, four-plexes, workforce housing and possible rental apartments.

The developers stated that their goal is to broaden the “spectrum of sociability” through the community design, which also incorporates ideas such as building a small number of “maker’s workshops” and light-industrial spaces to help residents start small businesses.

Community gathering spots, co-working spaces, recreational facilities, community gardens and parks are all on the table.

At least 11 acres are slated for open space to include walking trails that potentially extend beyond the property.

It’s likely that zoning codes will need to be amended because of the multiple planned uses within the proposed master plan.

The property was annexed into the city in 2005 as part of a development agreement, but a project that was planned did not move forward.

Because the new proposal differs considerably from the original plan, an “alternative approval process” has been initiated.

The city planning and public works departments were consulted in preliminary proposals, as was legal counsel.

The council did not allow public comment at Monday’s meeting, but members said there would be opportunities for input after the MOU is complete.

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