The City of Maple Ridge is hoping people are interested in something as common as dirt.
Because that’s exactly what the topic of an open house is, planned for Feb. 2 in Maple Ridge council lobby.
The city is currently reviewing its soil deposit bylaw and wants to hear from residents, farmers and developers, now that it’s got a new draft bylaw ready for the public to comment on.
A previous open house last fall heard suggestions from the public.
The soil deposit bylaw regulates what kind of soil and fill can be placed on properties and the review comes as pressure grows to find places to dump fill and soil that have been excavated from construction sites.
According to background information from the city, “an industry has formed around the removal and deposit of soil.”
Most of the dirt and fill is dumped on to agricultural land, with fees going to the owners of those properties.
Some locations benefit from receiving soil because of improved soil and and drainage. But other locations are receiving soil and fill regardless.
That can have adverse effects on drainage, can lead to flooding or introduce invasive species and hurt farm productivity.
Residents have said that public notification should be required for soil deposit projects so that residents have the opportunity to comment on the projects prior to a decision on approval. The current bylaw doesn’t require that.
The open house goes from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.