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From LangelyElecteds.org: Accessible Langley, Affordable Langley?

January 26th, 2012 at Thu, 26th, 2012 at 6:08 pm by Jim Sundberg

In spite of the heavy snowfall, the Langley City Council, Mayor, and city staff have been busy over the past month. Here is a summary of actions relating to access and housing.

First, a big “shout out of thanks” to Director Challis Stringer and the Public Works staff for the excellent job of snow clearing and road sanding last week. Two trucks and many long hours kept most of Langley’s roads quite passable during 7-8 inches of snow and subsequent icing.

Second, in the spirit of expanding alternatives, the City has now reviewed and adopted an enabling ordinance for electric vehicle charging stations and is considering an ordinance regulating electric powered “golf carts” on the streets of Langley. Charging stations for electric cars are now more than welcome in Langley, if any business would like to be the first to provide such.

Electric golf carts, defined as 4-wheeled electric vehicles limited to 20 miles per hour, must be equipped with headlights, tail and brake lights, seat belts and a “red safety flag . . . which extends 5 feet above the surface of the street.” At a public hearing yesterday on the proposed ordinance, the emphasis was jointly upon safety and practicality. One or two such vehicles could provide convenient access between Langley Marina and several points around downtown.

Finally, in a move to have the first “funicular” installation around Puget Sound, the City Council approved the full exploration of a “horizontal elevator” connection between Cascade Ave and the Langley Marina. Citing the benefits of linkage to more parking, handicapped access, and usefulness to boaters and tourists alike, Director of Planning Jeff Arango presented to City Council and the public some initial design sketches for this unique mode of transportation.

On the affordable housing front, the City of Langley has made the building of accessory dwelling units more attractive, by expanding the maximum size from 800 sq. ft. to 1000 sq. ft. and relaxing some of the height and setback limitations. The Planning Department and the Planning Advisory Board are also looking at additional ways to make continued infill of housing in Langley financially more attractive.

Even more dramatic topics relating to land use and access will be on next month’s Council Agenda: a review of the Shoreline Master Plan and selection of design consultants to begin planning and redesign efforts focused on 2nd Street. For details and to make comments on these, be sure to log onto Jeff Arango’s new blog:  http://designLangley.org

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