It’s now Port Haney, again

The people involved with Maple Ridge’s project to create a plan for the area south of downtown have their vision.

Port Haney, the area south of Lougheed Highway, between 227th Street and the Haney bypass and River Road, should have a mix of market and affordable housing. It should also be a place where there is heritage and park space and where people feel safe and work together.

Council heard the latest update from the Port Haney Neighbourhood Change Project on Monday as volunteers Chris Iversen and Yvonne Desabrais shared their vision about how the area could develop.

For instance, just trimming back the over-growth in an alleyway near St. Anne Avenue made a huge difference.

“It was like night and day,” said Iversen.

Replacing burnt-out streetlights has also helped.

He also suggested creating an off-leash dog park in one of the areas the district is considering for a park, on 223rd Street. Participants plan on cleaning up the space on April 30, which should coincide with Arbour Day.

The district has said previously that community gardens are being considered for the area.

Volunteers walked through the area, identifying concerns and decided on the name of Port Haney instead of the previous label – South Haney.

“It was originally Port Haney and it was originally the centre and start of this community as access to the river was very important,” Iversen explained.

Another walk is planned with someone who can identify how buildings can help reduce crime.

The Port Haney Neighbourhood Change Project started in 2010 and wraps up in August with a final report. So far, about 50 people have been involved in the planning.

Neighbourhood development coordinator Christine DiGiamberardine said one of the concerns was to maintain some affordable housing in the area as new projects are built. Two major condo projects (one replacing Northumberland Court), as well as a hotel have been planned for 224th Street.

Total cost allotted by the district for the project was $25,000.

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