A proposal by the Aquilini Group to build a subdivision on land it owns in northeast Pitt Meadows, at the edge of a protected nature reserve, is dead – for now.
Development manager Riaan de Beer said the project will not proceed in its current format.
Pitched to city council last week as a green, sustainable project, the 59-hectare (146-acre) property is located on a hill near the Malcolm Knapp UBC Research Forest, above the Codd Island Wetlands, a nesting and roosting area for many bird species, including the red-listed Greater Sandhill Crane.
Aquilini Development and Construction Inc. proposed to build 148 houses on the site, a significant increase from the 55 homes allowed under current zoning.
The proposal, however, received a chilly reception from Pitt Meadows council, effectively bringing plans for the housing development to a halt.
“Based on the reaction from council, it is doubtful that we will go ahead. I still think it is a creative win-win solution to protect farmland and to eliminate grand estate housing sprawling onto the ALR,” said De Beer.
“But I do not see any real interest from council in the idea in its current form.”
Given the history of opposition to development in the polder, council doubts the wider community would support any housing project in the area, no matter how sustainable or green.
“It’s not a win for the municipality,” said Coun. Janis Elkerton, who does not support any developments that request changes to the city’s official community plan.
She added the community views have not changed since the Swan-e-set fight in the mid-1990s.
“We still protect the environment and we still protect farming,” she said.
In 1996, the Swan-e-set Golf Course proposed the construction of 450 homes, a hotel and conference centre in the polder.
Despite opposition from the community, council, at the time, supported the development. The project was killed only after environmentalists took the city to court to overturn the rezoning application.