Albion flats application moving forward

Three proposals to exclude farmland expected at land commission

Wynnyks have centre piece of property

Wynnyks have centre piece of property

One application for land in the Albion flats is about to go to council, with possibly two more to follow.

An application to exclude from the land reserve 31 acres owned by Steve and John Wynnyk should get to Maple Ridge council by the third week of May, John said Friday.

Notification signs have to go up on the property, he added. As well, newspaper advertisements have to notify the public for a certain period before Maple Ridge council can consider the application. Council has the authority to forward such an application to the Agricultural Land Commission, or kill it completely.

Wynnyk said their application will be to remove 31 acres from the land reserve for development for business or light industrial use. “I’m hopeful,” he said.

Council has invited owners of land west of 105th Avenue on Lougheed Highway to submit their own applications for excluding the property from the Agricultural Land Reserve, while the District of Maple Ridge works on an application for removing land on the east side of 105th.

The district’s advice contradicts the Agricultural Land Commission’s previous statements that land west of 105th Avenue should remain farmland, in the reserve.

John Wynnyk said the other two major owners of land west of 105th Avenue, Smart Centres and a numbered B.C. company, each have their own consultants preparing an application.

Smart Centres owns land along the Lougheed Highway while a numbered company owns property, about 20 acres, on the north side of Albion flats.

“There are possibly three applications coming in,” said Tony Pellett with the land commission.

He said the commission was “somewhat emphatic” that land on the west side of 105th Avenue should remain farmland, “but we never prejudge what’s coming in.”

Council earlier this year told landowners to make their own applications for the west side of 105th Avenue even after sending its own concept plan to the commission and receiving advice that the west side should remain farmland.

If the commission rejects the private applications, Maple Ridge can continue with its own application to exclude land on the east side of 105th for recreational development, a use that’s already received tacit approval of the land commission.

The option selected by council could delay decisions for the area by a few months, compared to Maple Ridge simply applying to exclude land from the east side, which could see an ALC decision by September.

Mayor Ernie Daykin said earlier he wanted council to see the applications for the west side by May.

The ALC last year said land on the west side of 105th Avenue should remain farmland after it reviewed Maple Ridge’s plan calling for development of all of the Albion flats, for commercial, business and recreational uses.

The plan was developed after public consultation over several months.