Letter: Development proposal ignores city’s needs


After almost two years of discussions South Whidbey LLC has finally submitted a proposal to develop their Coles Valley Road property to the city of Langley. After all this time, with the developer’s spokespeople reassuring the local community that we are being listened to and our suggestions are being considered, they have formalized exactly what they originally proposed.

Individuals have questioned the accuracy of their traffic study because it relied on traffic studies done at the height of the pandemic lockdowns. This same study claimed that there have been no serious accidents at Coles and Highway 525. When the formal Coles Valley proposal was submitted the original traffic study was submitted unchanged.

The environmental survey that was used likewise was criticized because it was done in August, during a drought, and only looked in two spots close to Coles Road for wetlands. Yet the Coles Valley application uses the same environmental report.

The Langley City Council had discussions about the quality of the partner organization needed to oversee the affordable housing component of the development. The council was clear that they were expecting an affordable housing partner with experience in working with affordable rental properties. Instead, the application has an affordable housing partner that has never before actually managed any affordable housing.

With this level of listening and reacting to the local citizenry, I for one am extremely discouraged that South Whidbey LLC has any intention of following through with their commitments regarding this parcel. The proposal as it currently has been submitted completely ignores the needs of Langley and all of South Whidbey. It is written in such a way that the cost of growth will be placed squarely on the backs of the current citizens of Langley, when it should be paid for by South Whidbey LLC. I urge all the citizens of South Whidbey to look at the application and write to the Langley City Council, the Langley Planning Director and the Langley PAB with your concerns. You can download all of the formal application at www.langleywa.org/departments/community_planning_and_building_department/development_applications/coles_valley.php.

David Stenberg