Langley family plans to donate $6 million from development proceeds

The Blaauw family wants to develop lands near 204th Street and 28th Avenue.

A Langley woman is planning to donate $6 million from the proceeds of a planned housing development to charity.

Ann Blaauw sent a letter to Langley Township after a redevelopment project passed its first hurdle at a council vote on Tuesday.

“I thank you for your consideration of this matter and hope that you concur that this application is worthy of your support particularly given the considerable charitable benefits that will result,” Blaauw wrote.

The letter did not contain details about which charities might benefit from the donation.

The planned development would include 56 new lots ranging from about 7,550 square feet to 12,700 square feet. It is to be located at 204th Street and 28th Avenue.

The project has passed first and second readings of rezoning bylaws.

However, it has not gone forward without some opposition from neighbours. Comments at a public information meeting included concerns about the number of trees that would be felled to make way for new houses – a common concern as the Brookswood and Fernridge area develops.

This is not the first time the Blaauw family has made a significant donation locally.

In 2013, the family spent $2.5 million to fund the purchase of Grey Pit from Langley Township. The former gravel pit had long been used as an informal park by locals in the Glen Valley area of northeast Langley.

The Blaauw family donated the money to Trinity Western University, which bought the 25 acre site to use for conservation, education, and environmental research. The donation was made in the name of the late Thomas Blaauw and the lands were dubbed the Blaauw Eco Forest.