Maple Ridge is trying to prepare for the future by giving the Maple Ridge Cemetery room to expand.
Council, on Tuesday, approved designating three lots on Dewdney Trunk Road at 214th Street as institutional, allowing the properties that are adjacent to the current cemetery to be added at a later date.
One of the lots remains in private hands, to be sold later, while the city owns the other two.
“Our current cemetery is almost critical,” said Coun. Gordy Robson.
Space is running out on those grounds so the city wants to ensure the new additions are used most efficiently when incorporated into the existing cemetery.
Staff will look at various burial options, including liquifaction, as a greener alternative to cremation, as well as adding more up-to-date features to the cemetery, such as a video display wall, where people can watch messages from those who’ve passed.
The desires of a variety of religions must also be studied. Staff should be able to complete their report by the year’s end.
“So we’re going to look at all these things,” Robson said. “It’s going to take a little bit because we want to look at the world.”
Another goal is to provide a roofed area where people can gather out of the rain. One goal is to ensure the new features bring in revenue to help the cemetery remain self-sustaining financially.
The city could also partner with the other cemeteries in the area, he added.
The city previously bought two of the properties, about .65 acres each, so there are now another 1.3 acres of additional burial space to add to the existing six acres.