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Maple Ridge resident worried about new homes
Tyra Duncan knows she’s going to have to make room for more houses, people and cars far up on the mountainside in Silver Valley.
All she wants, though, is for it to be done in the best possible way, and if that means not hooking up the road from the next new subdivision to hers – that would be a win-win for everyone.
“This is absolutely, my dream location. It’s unbelievable,” she said Monday from her home on Anderson Creek Drive.
Duncan and her young family live in a house that backs on to one of the creeks from which a waterfall can be heard nearby.
Just to the north are mountain rainforest and rushing streams and trails that quickly take a hiker from suburban streets to West Coast wilderness.
She knows it can’t stay that way forever as the Silver Valley area plan is implemented. To the north of where she lives in Anderson Creek Estates, a subdivision which was just built two years ago, a new subdivision called Falcon Crest will add another 135 units, including single-family homes and three townhouse projects.
It’s a plan that will eat up about another 80 acres of forest land, although 20 of those acres will be set aside for conservation.
Duncan says the development is well designed, but is concerned about the impact on groundwater and storm water flows from the new subdivision. Her own back yard is already water logged much of the time, she adds. She understands that the homes have to be built, but it’s a special area, she adds.
Her major concern is the proposed, narrow road that will connect her subdivision to the new one.
Her traffic-calmed street is already clogged with parked vehicles, the result of two generations of families sharing space in expensive new homes.
“In theory, it [traffic calming] works – but now that people actually live here, practically, it does not.”
Duncan says connecting to the new suburb via Anderson Creek Road means having to cross four creeks that feed into Anderson Creek, which flows into Blaney Bog to the west. But using another possible road farther north to access the suburb would mean only two creeks would have to be crossed, while the southern boundary of the subdivision would have insulated green space, separating her area from the new development.
Consultant for the project David Laird said Duncan’s concerns are “understandable, but not unusual,” any time people move into an area, then learn it’s going to change.
After hearing from residents, he agreed to add the second access road to the project and pointed out that the District of Maple Ridge also wants two accesses. He expects the application to get to council within a month.
About half of the residents in the new project will exit the area using Anderson Creek Drive, while the other half will use the second road, yet to be named, off Marc Road. A study says that Anderson Creek Drive can handle the traffic volume, Laird adds.
The subdivision will have to meet the storm water and environmental requirements of the Silver Valley area plan, heralded as cutting edge a decade ago for its eco-friendly approach to development that requires eco-clusters and storm water management. Building setback areas for streams will vary between 15 and 30 metres.
Laird said he’d like the application to go to council as soon as possible with construction starting summer of 2013. It’s likely the last development in Silver Valley on the north end, he added. The chances of developing farther up the mountain are a long way off because of water-servicing challenges.
“For the very foreseeable future, this will be the last to be developed on the north end.”