Maple Ridge still awaiting word on Flats from ALC

Council sent its ideas for development of the farmland along Lougheed Highway and 105th Avenue last spring to get feedback

Albion flats could see a neighbourhood pub

Albion flats could see a neighbourhood pub

The fate of Albion flats remain in flux and could stay that way until after the next election as Maple Ridge district awaits word on its plans from the Agricultural Land Commission.

Council sent its ideas for development of the farmland along Lougheed Highway and 105th Avenue last spring to get feedback from the ALC.

Once it hears from the commission, the district could then file a formal application to remove the property from the Agricultural Land Reserve.

Mayor Ernie Daykin said Monday that the commission itself has yet to review the proposal, but is supposed to look at it when it meets Oct. 24. A meeting in September was cancelled.

Daykin said the land commission is underfunded, which drags out application processing times.

“They’re really under the gun as far as funding from the province.

“Council wants to know how long it will be before they get their comments back.”

He added that council wants the feedback so it can submit a strong, formal application for removing the land. “We would like it sooner.”

Coun. Judy Dueck said it’s 50-50 whether the present council will file an application before the next election.

If the commission is quick at sending its comments to Maple Ridge, council would still have two or three meetings before the Nov. 19 election, in which to submit an application.

“I think we’re running out of time is the unfortunate piece.”

Following public consultation last fall, and four options presented by a consultant, council opted for a development scenario for the Albion flats that included commercial, business and recreational development of both sides of 105th Avenue.

Then it added a recreation centre, farm buildings, a farmer’s market, an agricultural training centre, food education institute and community gardens and a neighbourhood pub to the vision.

The district’s consultant said all four options that came out of the brainstorming session should go to the commission.