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Can the Lower Mainland’s last drive-in be saved? Langley’s mayor thinks it might be possible.

Staff ordered to review Twilight situation, to see if it can be kept ‘open and operating’
Langley Mayor Eric Woodward (inset) said it may still be possible to avert the closure of Aldergrove’s Twilight Drive-in and he has asked city staff to look into the matter. (Langley Advance Times files)

Langley Township Mayor Eric Woodward has told municipal staff to look into ways of keeping Aldergrove’s Twilight Drive-In open.

In an online post on Saturday June 17, Woodward advised he has directed staff “to start to consider possible options to address this [shutdown] and keep Twilight Drive-In open and operating in Aldergrove, subject to possible council direction at our next meeting on June 26th.”

When one commenter said it was a “shame” the drive-in couldn’t be saved, Woodward replied “we may still be able to, subject to council wanting to look at that.”

Describing Twilight as a “great destination so many of us don’t want to lose,”Woodward said he wished the business “had reached out to me prior to this announcement to see what could be done, as I would have been on it right away. Regardless, we will now start that process.”

In making the announcement, Twilight owner Jay Daulat said the drive-in, the last one operating in the Lower Mainland, would be shutting down after the 2024 summer season, citing taxes as the reason.

Property taxes on the Aldergrove location, at 260th Street and Fraser Highway, have increased 260 per cent during the past three years – 72 per cent this year alone, the notice said.

“Our landlord has informed us that they will not be renewing our lease.”

READ ALSO: Aldergrove’s Twilight Drive-In announces it will close

Woodward said the tax increase was actually 130 per cent, with the assessed value of the industrially-zoned property rising from $13.2 million in 2019 to $40 million in 2023, resulting in a raise of the annual property taxes from $164,200 in 2019 to $378,507 for 2023.

“This is actually an increase of 130 per cent over five years, caused entirely by the dramatic increase in the assessed property value,” Woodward said. “And because it’s industrial land, in very short supply and significant demand throughout the region.”

Woodward noted municipalities have been asking the province for more flexibility to “tax actual use and different kinds of industrial/residential properties differently, yet year after year we are all locked into a rigid, inflexible B.C. Assessment system that has countless flaws local Councils can do nothing about.”

READ ALSO: Taxes to go up 5.37% in Langley Township this year

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Dan Ferguson

About the Author: Dan Ferguson

Best recognized for my resemblance to St. Nick, I’m the guy you’ll often see out at community events and happenings around town.
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