‘We have enough industrial land’

Editor, The News:

Re: Council keeps Pelton land on list (The News, Jan. 22).

I was extremely disappointed to read that all of Maple Ridge council voted to consider the Pelton property for removal from the Agricultural Land Reserve.

Years ago, as a board member of the Pitt Polder Preservation Society, our membership and many other local citizens fought long and hard against the Pelton proposal, which would have excluded farmland from the reserve and destroyed bird habitat, as well as viewscapes along the dikes, for an industrial zone.

Studies have shown that we have enough industrial land in Maple Ridge.

Why is council not encouraging growth in the Albion industrial area, as staff as suggested?

Luckily the Agricultural Land Commission rejected the first Pelton application a few years ago.

But the ALC seems to have watered down its commitment recently, triggered by the Liberals’ intention to reconsider the boundaries of the reserve.

The ALC’s decision to allow the North Lougheed Connector to cut through farmland in Pitt Meadows is a recent example.

The Pelton property will almost certainly be an issue in the next municipal election.

Like many Maple Ridge citizens who believe in sustainability, food security and the threat of climate change, I will be looking to support candidates who will not consider excluding the Pelton property from the ALR.

If the Pelton property goes, the rest of the ALR in Maple Ridge will follow.

How short-sighted such a decision would be.

It makes me wonder if this council is at all cognizant of what is going on in the world around them.

Global warming and climate change are already devastating the planet with heat waves, drought, massive floods, monster hurricanes and, here in B.C., the destruction of huge swaths of pine forest.

Yet, these folks act as though it’s just business as usual.

Urban sprawl destroys agricultural lands that will be desperately needed in the future.  It leads to more cars on roads and more planet-killing greenhouse gases.

Many of our councillors are old enough that they will not see the worst of it.

But they are condemning their children and grandchildren to a much degraded world.

We need forward-thinking councillors willing to consider the impact of their decisions on future generations, instead of looking no farther than the next municipal election and their own political interests.

Annette LeBox

Maple Ridge


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