Councillors want progress on Albion development

Maple Ridge will go to ALC with newest conceptual plan

Maple Ridge council is again planning development of the Albion flats, with several politicians expressing frustration at the decades-long delays.

The plan is to create mixed employment uses – commercial, light industrial and office developments, with some residential component. The Albion flats are to the southeast of Jim Robson Way, along the Lougheed Highway to 240th Street.

It is a 133-hectare site that houses the Planet Ice arena complex and sports fields.

After hearing a lengthy staff report on July 23, council told staff to prepare a final concept plan, and arrange a meeting with the Agricultural Land Commission to discuss a block exclusion from the Agricultural Land Reserve.

Several expressed impatience at the lack of progress on the development, and both councillors Judy Dueck and Gordy Robson spoke against further public consultation at this time, noting the public has been involved dating back to 2010, and the issue has been discussed in every civic election since.

“It’s not because I don’t appreciate the public’s opinion, but I think we know what the public’s opinion is,” said Dueck, Thursday.

She favours getting a new plan in front of the ALC for approval.

“If they say no, we need to put this to bed once and for all, because I have been dealing with this topic for too long, as has staff.”

Robson gave a “ditto” endorsement of her comments.

“We have been consulting for 20 years on this,” he said.

Dueck said in an interview she hopes the ALC will still allow the development – with the condition that drainage issues on the west side of Jim Robson Way be addressed to allow that property to be farmed, as it ruled in the past.

She sees commercial and retail opportunities, as the eastern neighbourhoods of the city continue to develop. “The whole Albion area is screaming for places to go,” said Dueck. “I hope we can get on with it.”

Dueck said the plan should be in place by the end of the current council term. Then the market will dictate progress on the Albion flats.

“We just zone things – we can’t make people build things, but we can have the land ready.”

At the July meeting, Mayor Mike Morden said the development should have commercial at ground level, “jobs on the ground,” and residential above only.

“My preference is for mixed, not industrial,” he said, adding the market will ultimately drive the development.

“We are going to be told what the public is going to want, what the industry is going to want.”

Morden acknowledged city hall “went through massive charette work” to get public input, but he would still like to put the latest concept before the public.

Coun. Kiersten Duncan noted the area is a liquefaction zone, with 73 per cent of the area considered high hazard in an earthquake, and she wanted council to get more information about the danger this presents to the public.

“I have serious concerns about that,” she said.

There are 18 private land owners who would be involved in a block exclusion from the ALR, and so far 10 have provided written support for development. Council has been working to engage with the remaining property owners.


 


ncorbett@mapleridgenews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Sea bus service proposed along Fraser River

Maple Ridge councillor just wants to start discussion

Pitt Meadows gets some help for flood plan

$412,000, but not for dike upgrades

Maple Ridge, Pitt Meadows folks take in rides at PNE

Fall exhibition heralds end of summer

Pantracia Chronicles paves path for Pitt Meadows author

First trilogy in epic fantasy series released this year

Homes found for abandoned hedgehogs in Maple Ridge

Lucky new owners picked up their pets on Aug. 20

Pickle me this: All the outrageous foods at this year’s PNE

Pickled cotton candy, deep-fried chicken skins, and ramen corndogs are just a start

New study suggests autism overdiagnosed: Canadian expert

Laurent Mottron: ‘Autistic people we test now are less and less different than typical people’

B.C. father tells judge he did not kill his young daughters

Andrew Berry pleaded not guilty to the December 2017 deaths

Trans Mountain gives contractors 30 days to get workers, supplies ready for pipeline

Crown corporation believes the expansion project could be in service by mid-2022

Mammoth sturgeon catch was ‘a fish of a lifetime’ for Chilliwack guide

Sturgeon was so enormous it tied for largest specimen every tagged and released in the Fraser

Rosemount cooked diced chicken linked to listeria case in B.C.

The symptoms of listeria include vomiting, nausea, fever, muscle aches

Body found believed to be missing Chilliwack senior with dementia

Police say case is now in the hands of the coroner

B.C. seniors allowed more choice to stay in assisted living

Province doesn’t need to wait for a complaint to investigate care, Adrian Dix says

Most Read