At their last meeting, Maple Ridge council dealt with a full agenda – including numerous development approvals – over the objections of councillors Gordy Robson and Ahmed Yousef.
Yousef, who was re-elected, made a motion to recess many of the items on the agenda until the Nov. 15 council meeting, when Mayor Elect Dan Ruimy and his Better Maple Ridge team will have been sworn in. The motion was seconded by Robson.
Robson said the new council should consider the issues, rather than the “lame duck” council that met at the Oct. 25 meeting.
“There are some massive developments coming through tonight,” Robson said. “I think it would be prudent to pass those issues on to the new council.”
“Zoning that’s 500 units, is not something I think we should deal with when we’re lame duck – we have two days to go,” he added. “The public has spoken, there will only be two members of this council returning, and I think it’s prudent to pass this on to them – out of respect if nothing else.”
Robson chose not to run for another term.
Coun. Chelsa Meadus, a member of the Maple Ridge First team headed by outgoing mayor Mike Morden, asked staff whether it was traditional to pass on these issues, and said the past council had made decisions in their final meetings before Meadus and Maple Ridge First councillors took office in 2018.
Staff offered no guidance regarding tradition, and said it would be up to the council to decide the matter.
Meadus said the issues before council had not been expressly opposed by Ruimy’s slate, and spoke against delaying the issues.
Coun. Ryan Svendsen, another Maple Ridge First councillor who was voted out of office, said he would want to be fair to the applicants who have gone through the city’s rezoning processes.
Veteran councillor Judy Dueck, the only Maple Ridge First councillor re-elected, said it is not unusual for land use decisions to be dealt with by different councils. The current council had been dealing with the applicants over a period of years, and had heard the input about them at the public hearings, so she did not see the need to postpone approvals until the next council.
Among the issues they dealt with were a six-storey apartment building with 178 units at 22936 Dewdney Trunk Road. It was opposed by Robson and Yousef due to low development cost charges and lack of permanent access. It was granted third reading.
So was the development at the former Mussalem property, which includes two six-storey mixed-use commercial building with ground-floor commercial space, and 255 apartment units. It is located at the corner of Lougheed Highway and 223rd Street.
Ruimy and his new council are to be sworn in on Nov. 1.
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