Coun. Hogarth wants Brown Avenue improved

Manages three properties along same road, says long-term plan has been to upgrade road

Two of the three lots still have houses on them

Two of the three lots still have houses on them

It’s been in the works for a couple decades. Now it’s time to get it done and complete the plan and rebuild Brown Avenue, says Maple Ridge Coun. Al Hogarth.

The road, a block north of Dewdney Trunk Road, runs from 222nd to 227th streets. At one point there were plans to make it a one-way street, to ease the load on Dewdney Trunk.

“Why can’t we finish that off, because it’s been 20 to 25 years. Enough is enough,” he said at council Monday.

Turning the street into a one-way is no longer in the plans, but the district still owns the right of way to allow road widening.

There are only one or two lots blocking the extension of Brown Avenue east to hook up to 228th Street.

Meanwhile, at least one major condo development has been completed on the north side of the road.

“We’ve been languishing with this promise of Brown Avenue for how many years? Now that you’re seeing things happening, maybe it’s time it should be re-evaluated and tell people once and for all if it’s going to go or not,” Hogarth said later.

Maybe new condo projects can pay for the final pieces to complete the road rebuilding, he suggested.

Hogarth said the road allowance should be wide enough to allow two full traffic lanes, as well as bicycle lanes, while the south side of Brown could have commercial development.

Hogarth, also a realtor, is currently managing three lots on the southeast corner of Edge Street and Brown Ave., two of which still have houses remaining.

The lots are part of the property on which a three-tower condo project is proposed. That application, by Ascent One Properties, came to council in February.

The application seeks to rezone the corner of Dewdney Trunk Road and Edge Street, currently the location of Paliotti’s restaurant, and three other lots on Brown for the condo project, which would include some commercial space.

One of the developers of the Brown Ave. application also developed the 223 North project on Lougheed Highway and 223rd Street, which Hogarth marketed as a realtor.

Hogarth excused himself from council’s February discussion of the Brown Avnue application.

He sees no conflict of interest in calling for the upgrade of Brown Avenue and his managing the properties on that road.

“No, I don’t feel it’s a conflict whatsoever. If anything, it’s a benefit to the district to have this stuff going ahead. It just adds strength to the stuff on either side of it.”

When the development proceeds, he’ll no longer be managing the houses, because they’ll be torn down as part of the development. And he has no connection to Ascent One and its Brown Ave. project.

“I have no guarantees. I have nothing in writing. I have no contractual obligation other than I’m managing the property.”

Besides, the developer has to do road work and dedication. “It’s a given that they’ll have to do it anyways.”

He added that the road improvements have been considered for a long time and that the road stretches several blocks and just wanted to know if it will be part of the transportation plan. The road needs improvement regardless, he added.

Mayor Ernie Daykin said he didn’t even consider if Hogarth had a conflict of interest in calling for a road improvement along properties he manages. “I hadn’t even thought of that.”

He said each councillor has to determine if he or she is in a conflict of interest when considering an agenda item. “He’s got to ask himself that. I can’t tell Al that he’s in a conflict of interest. They [councillors] need to evaluate that on their own merits.”

According to Section 101 of the Community Charter, a councillor can’t participate in a discussion or vote on any topic on which he or she has a direct or indirect financial interest. Section 100 also requires a councillor to declare that interest.