Maple Ridge council has chosen a plan for development of the Yennadon Lands.
The city’s commercial and industrial strategy aims to create up to 93 hectares (230 acres) of employment lands over the next 20 years, and the Yennadon development will be part of that.
Council has passed the Yennadon Lands Concept Plan, which would create a neighbourhood where residents can “live, work and play.” Located at 128th Avenue and 232nd Street, the site is comprised of 13 properties covering 25.4 hectares (63 acres).
“This vision strikes the perfect balance between providing employment opportunities for our citizens and protecting our local green spaces. It’s another example of council’s work to create jobs and enhance livability in our community,” said Mayor Mike Morden.
At the heart of the plan is a ‘neighbourhood innovations village,’ which incorporates a business park concept with an eco-business emphasis to conserve green space and protected trees. Of the three plans council considered, it is the one that was 100 per cent employment lands, where the other two included some residential land use. It also did not allow for larger employment land lots, as did one of the concepts.
The “big idea” that was established early on as a framework for the preliminary concepts, was to create a complete neighbourhood where residents and future business owners can live, work and play within a five to 10 minute walk or bicycle ride of their residence, said a staff report by city planner Amanda Grochowich.
It was the most popular of three concepts for the area in an open house public survey. It was chosen by 40 out of 157 respondents. However, 75 respondents said they like “none of the concepts.”
Many of those surveyed said Maple Ridge is in need of more employment opportunities.
There was a strong message that there is a dearth of services in the Yennadon and Silver Valley areas – calls for community services, in addition to or incorporated with the overall development intent of the Yennadon Lands, included requests for additional child care spaces, walkable coffee shops and small grocery stores, as well as general shops, said the staff report.
The plan includes:
• A flexible land use designation that permits employment-generating uses and community amenities, such as cafes and child care services.
• Language that encourages the retention and integration of significant green spaces, such as wildlife hubs and mature trees.
• An appropriate scale and size for buildings to match existing residential development in nearby areas.
• The incorporation of an interconnected pathway and trail system to link the surrounding neighbourhoods.
Staff will begin preparing an amendment to the Official Community Plan (OCP) to designate the land for employment use and create accompanying policies and guidelines. The OCP amendment will be back for council’s consideration next year.