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Cloverdale BIA, Chamber, Community Association working together to help plan for future town growth

Solutions needed for traffic problems on Hwy 10
Paul Orazietti says planning for Cloverdale’s future growth “must be done right.” (Photo: Malin Jordan)

While the issue of housing continues to surge to critical heights in British Columbia, the Cloverdale Business Improvement Association is looking at ways to help add low-income homes to the Cloverdale landscape.

“But it must be done right,” stressed Paul Orazietti, the executive director of the Business Improvement Association (BIA).

The BIA is also working closely with the Cloverdale District Chamber of Commerce and the Cloverdale Community Association (CCA) to look at the needs of the community and how things will change when the new hospital is finally up and running. All agree they need to focus on the needs of residents first.

“For us, we’re working with each other to say, ‘Hey, we want to bring the city in and let’s all work together on this,’” said Orazietti. “We’re going to have a public meeting to talk about homelessness to get everybody up to speed on it.”

He said a few members of the CCA have already gone to KPU to look into partnering with the university on several accessibility and housing studies. Through their efforts, they hope to garner some insightful data into Cloverdale’s needs.

The idea, said Orazietti, is to get the city, the BIA, the Chamber, and the CCA talking so they can have comments and input on how low-income housing, and housing in general, could look in the community.

Orazietti said some groups are looking at opportunities in Cloverdale to put in some low-income housing, but he’s saying, “hold on.” The idea is to get the best use out of each new build/reno.

“They are in areas that we are worried about,” noted Orazietti. “We would have liked to see higher and better use. They are looking at it as a short-term band aid that can serve a certain need, but we need long term solutions.”

He stressed that long-term look is more important than ever. And the city, he added, has already agreed with the BIA’s previous assessment.

“We went through this process with (the city) and they agreed, in principle, that the town of Cloverdale will grow,” he explained. “The reason for that is the hospital. The hospital is the main mover and because of all of that, we can see in the immediate proximity changes that should occur in less than 10 years.”

Some of that, he noted, must be the rezoning of light industrial areas into mixed use zoning. This will allow for doctors offices and all the other types of businesses that would open next to a hospital. He said it also needs to allow for residential on top of commercial and, of course, low-income needs to be factored in.

“But it’s all contingent on developers and property owners working together with the city.”

Traffic, Traffic, Traffic

Orazietti said there’s also been discussion surrounding some type of bypass to free up the already congested Hwy 10, east of 176th as it cuts through Cloverdale before heading up the hill toward Langley.

“There was a plan 18 years ago; the Province had a plan to do that at 172,” he noted. “That’s been abandoned now because it would run in front of the new hospital. And that won’t work because you can’t have trucks driving in front of the hospital.”

Now, he said, the idea is to bring Colebrook Road straight west from 192nd Street to link up with Hwy 15.

“We need to pursue this because of all of the growth and construction that will be going in along the Clayton corridor,” Orazietti observed. “This will force more truck traffic down Hwy 10 and add to the traffic problems there.”

He said as both Langley and Cloverdale grow, the traffic on Hwy 10 will only go from horrible to untenable.

“So, we have a problem that is growing by the day,” Orazietti explained. “But like anything, regrettably, nothing happens until there’s issues.”

Orazietti noted that with the traffic issues to come, the population increasing in Cloverdale because of a lot of new development, the need for low-income housing, and with the new hospital on the horizon, the time to plan for the future is now—not tomorrow, not next week, not next year.

He thinks it can be done if the BIA, the Chamber, the CCA, and the city work hand in glove.

“The importance is here now,” he added, “With the new hospital, massive change is coming to the downtown core, and with that comes the need for proper and thoughtful planning for future growth.”

Malin Jordan

About the Author: Malin Jordan

Malin is the editor of the Cloverdale Reporter.
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