Pitt Meadows is taking another look at the best use of the land Onni donated during the Golden Ears Business Park rezoning, and that may or may not be more sports fields, said Mayor Bill Dingwall.
The developer gave the city an unprecedented 10.88 acres donation of land as part of its rezoning application for the light industrial developments third and fourth phases.
The last council planned to use the site for an eight-lane running track around a CFL-size football field. There would also be a soccer field, viewing areas, 115 parking spaces and landscaped buffers from surrounding properties.
But the transaction didn’t proceed as a straight contribution of land, explained Dingwall.
Instead, the city bought the land at a cost of $4.7 million from Onni. The funds came from a reserve that had been dedicated for the purchase of park land.
Then Onni dedicated the cash back to the city.
So, Dingwall said, council has given itself options – it has obtained the site, while creating a $4.7 million reserve that is earmarked for parks and rec.
The develop-able site is actually eight acres in size, said Dingwall. Other lands included in the original figure quoted were for paths and berms.
Dingwall said a parks and rec master plan process is under way, with a report to be completed by the end of 2020. It will include public input, and prioritize park upgrades and facilities such as a potential new pool. It will plan for the short, medium and long term.
“We’re going to ask our citizens what they want,” said Dingwall.
He expects a pool to be debated – the mayor knows it is high on the wish list for many people, and has also heard from many who oppose the spending.
As part of its fill application to begin site work for phase 4, Onni recently gave the city another $1.5 million amenity contribution.
“It provides us with dollars we can dedicate where we need it,” said Dingwall.