Maple Ridge council has approved a rough plan for the Albion flats and is now sending it to the Agricultural Land Commission for feedback.
Politicians told staff to create a mix of commercial, business park and residential uses for the high-profile parcel of land on Lougheed Highway, east of Jim Robson Way.
Deciding the future of the property has taken about 20 years and the city needs to explain how its plan will fit with the land commission’s objectives, Mayor Mike Morden said at council’s Nov. 12 workshop.
The plan calls for a mixed-use commercial node next to 240th Street, to tie in more closely with the adjoining Albion suburb.
Ground-floor office space is also earmarked for Lougheed Highway, east of Jim Robson Way, with residential uses above commercial and office space.
A staff report said that, in July, council evaluated two possible plans for the area, one of which focused more on industrial and business park uses, while the other contained retail, light industrial, office and residential. Council supported the latter.
Other components include a multi-storey parkade structure, along with a water retention pond for stormwater drainage. A riparian strip for Mainstone Creek would run parallel to Lougheed Highway.
Coun. Gordy Robson, though, said there wasn’t enough focus on transportation in the plan, “so we know where we’re going with transit.”
Council will present the plan to the land commission in December, then make refinements and then formally submit an application for block land exclusion from the Agricultural Land Reserve.
The commission, in previous years, told the city it would consider an application for the property on the east side of Jim Robson Way, provided the city improve drainage for the farmland on the west side of that road and which won’t be allowed to be excluded from the reserve.
Planning director Chuck Goddard told council that staff met with property owners in the area last summer and they support the plan.