Langford North?

I was in Victoria yesterday and stopped by to see the revitalization work done in the centre of Langford over the last number of years.  It was impressive to say the least.  From what I can see, it appears as though the city made a decision to improve the climate for business by reducing red-tape and encouraging new companies to open up shop in the area.  Development is not encouraged at all costs – projects have to meet criteria for design, materials, look and the like.  From a strong business climate comes strong and recurring tax revenue which is being used to revitalize streets, build bike lanes, create community rec centres and the like.

Langford is working on creating more density in the core of the city, multi-purposed buildings that have retail shops on the ground floor, professional offices on the second and residential apartments on the third or fourth floors.  I wonder if we could adopt some of these ideas in Comox, perhaps on the site of the Lorne or if the mall is re-developed.  One of the neat projects built in Langford is a fountain in the centre of the main roundabout; it dances, like the fountains at the Bellagio, every half an hour to different tunes!

We have a lot going for us in Comox but I think we could offer so much more.  Take a look at the City of Langford website and time yourself to see how long it takes for you to find information on how to start a business.  Now visit the Town of Comox site and do the same.

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Categories: Commentary | Tags: , , , | 4 Comments

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4 thoughts on “Langford North?

  1. Mike Bannerman

    Great post Ben!
    I was living in Victoria this summer and went out to Langford quite a bit and I agree that their downtown is very impressive. I also noticed that, whether through planning or luck, their downtown core is located right in the middle of two large groups of box stores which actually increases the traffic flow through the downtown core, instead of most places where the box stores are set up on the outskirts of the city and traffic moves away from the downtown.
    I think Langford has been smart enough to use the urban sprawl to their advantage to bring shoppers from Victoria to their downtown. While Comox is not in the same situation in terms of box stores, I believe that it has to assess the assets they do have that will bring residents from other areas here, make sure these assets are marketed effectively and ensure that the red tape for does not get in the way of the Town’s growth.
    I think looking at things that towns like Qualicum Beach and Parksville did to grow should also be considered as Comox moves forward as they also seem to be close to Comox in terms of demographics and characteristics.

  2. Tom Dishlevoy

    Hi Ben

    Do you think our problem in Comox comes from a lack of will, a lack of ability (lack of skill), lack ok education (experience and exposure), or lack of mandate (it is not our business to get involved with the private sector business)?


    • I’m not sure. I’m certainly no expert in this area. I think it probably stems from lack of vision to create the model or template. There has been talk of the new council visiting Langford and cherry-picking some of the best ideas. Maybe they’ve already done this and we just haven’t seen the results yet. I do believe they’re working on reducing red tape although I think Edd Moyes has been waiting over a year for his bistro permit for the underneath of the Fin! Also, I think that some new ideas, ways of thinking, ‘service mentality’ needs to be inculcated somehow in certain members of the municipal staff and council; I guess we’ll have to keep tabs on this and see how it goes.

  3. From the pics I sure like the look of the development, and the idea of making the downtown core more dense is a sound one. It’s business which is the driving force behind any community’s development, and Langford has enabled business to grow carefully and quickly. I liked the “village” feel of the central business area. Hope we can get that here in Comox. Thanks for posting this.

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