Monday, 28 April 2014

Go green by investing in railway improvements

There is a lot of talk about “going green,” global warming, ice caps melting and rising sea levels. At the same time we are investing millions, if not billions, of dollars to improve and widen roads and bridges so we can accommodate even more vehicles.

Aren’t vehicles the very things that contribute to the above-mentioned problems?
Instead we should be investing in modes of transportation that are green — like trains. Here on Vancouver Island we have the fantastic opportunity to bring a railway back to life that has been neglected for decades. The infrastructure is already in place (like tracks, bridges, crossings and stations). I know it needs upgrading and it will cost quite a bit of money, but it will be money well spent.

It’s almost certain that the cost of energy is going up over the coming years, and owning a vehicle will get more expensive. An improved train system would be good for commuting, tourism and business. Anyone in doubt should drive to Victoria in the morning and experience the “Colwood Crawl.” Then try to imagine what it will be like in 10 years.

Let’s look into the future and support this train before it’s too late.

Sunday, 13 April 2014

Who we are | Westhills - Our-story

Description: Our-story
The Westhills lands encompass 209 hectares (517 acres) of rolling sloped lands, knolls, and rocky outcroppings and are located in the City of Langford. Originally comprised of two large parcels, the properties were held for decades by two local families. In 2006, the owners of the westernmost lands formed the Westhills Land Corporation (WLC) to develop the site. Westhills subsequently acquired the second parcel, which was already zoned for residential development and a lakeside pub.

By adapting these strategies to meet the unique requirements of the Westhills site, the developers have created a warm and welcoming community that honor’s their foundation principles of sustainability, affordability, design excellence and quality construction.

Due in large part to the vision of Langford Mayor Stewart Young and Council, the Westhills Master Plan was arrived at through a design charette process involving a variety of stakeholders and consultants. These included The US Green Building Council, the Canada Green Building Council, the BC Ministry of Community Services and the Design Centre for Sustainability at the University of British Columbia. Through this planning process the City of Langford has been able to form a cohesive partnership with the owner of Westhills Land Corporation, with a commitment to excellence in environmental design.

The resulting Westhills Master Plan embodies their goal of creating a unique, large-scale master-planned community based on principals of social and environmental sustainability. Major guiding factors of the design and implementation of Westhills are: considerations of location, alternative transportation modes, environmental preservation, community agriculture, water efficiency, energy and atmosphere, materials and resources, and indoor environmental quality. These characteristics are demonstrated in the creation of approximately 6000 new residential units, with supporting commercial, civic and educational facilities. Approximately 84 hectares (208 acres) is designated as park and open space (equivalent to 40% of the total land area).

The Westhills vision includes buildings that will accommodate both live and work spaces, a village Centre, neighbourhood retail service centres, an internal commuter bus service, and a commuter rail station. High quality public spaces, mixed uses, cultural and educational facilities and residences will provide for a community available to all ages and various income levels.