Entrance way to downtown will be changing. (THE NEWS/files)

Entrance way to downtown will be changing. (THE NEWS/files)

Big Maple Ridge housing development gets final OK

More than 350 homes planned for along Lougheed Highway

A major housing project planned for the east entrance to downtown Maple Ridge has cleared the last remaining hurdle.

Council, on Tuesday, gave final reading to two bylaws allowing the construction of 84 single-family homes, 24 rental apartments and 252 townhouses – 360 more houses, that will straddle both sides of the Lougheed Highway, just west of Kanaka Way. Included will be 1,093 sq. metres of commercial space.

“I’m very excited to see this get final reading,” said Coun. Tyler Shymkiw. “I think this is going to finish off this area of the community beautifully.”

Polygon is doing the development on property formerly owned by the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure.

The development will see a one-acre piece of land on the site, given to the city for a park and will also include the developer paying $2.5 million in voluntary community amenity contributions. Developers pay those based on a charge per unit built, to pay for recreational features.

Some of the other features will see the homes and townhomes pre-wired to allow electronic vehicle charging.

Final reading got unanimous council support, although Coun. Gordy Robson had previously considered delaying the project until the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure did more extensive improvements to the Haney Bypass between 222nd Street and Kanaka Way.

Robson wanted the bypass widened to four lanes if a new subdivision was going to be built there.

He also wanted a separate access road to the bypass from the new subdivision. Instead, traffic will be accessing and exiting the property via the Lougheed Highway.

Currently, the ministry is planning only to improve the intersections along the bypass, but not widening the road. Council, in particular, is pushing for an improved intersection at 222nd Street and Lougheed Highway.

City engineer Dave Pollock told council that the city and province have had two recent meetings on that topic and another is planned.

Developers of the new subdivision are providing enough space to allow widening to four lanes of the Haney Bypass, on its property frontage, as well as a merging lane, if the government decides to later widen the road.

“I think we’ve got enough out of these folks,” said Coun. Craig Speirs.

“I think this is a great development,” added Mayor Nicole Read.