More homes for Albion area in Maple Ridge?

Maple Ridge council considers changes to boost density in north Albion to make it easier to pay for services

The District of Maple Ridge is mulling an increase in density in north Albion in response to a flurry of enquiries from developers looking to build more homes in the area.

District staff have proposed council amend the area plan to allow for a swell of 30 per cent, which will add around 295 homes to the neighbourhood, located off 240th Street bordered by Kanaka Creek and 112th Avenue.

The current area plan envisions around 150 units in north Albion.

“The question for council today is: are you going to entertain increased density and what that density should look like?” said Chuck Goddard, manager of development and environmental services.

With the southern portion of Albion nearly built-out, developers are looking north to a terrain laced with creeks and gullies which is environmentally sensitive and a challenge to service.

Despite the challenges, developers are keen to build in north Albion. The district is currently processing six applications for a range of developments including four single-family subdivisions and a townhouse complex that challenge Albion current neighbourhood plan which favours single lots.

Rather than deal with each application separately, staff  recommended council amend the area plan to fit with the request of developers.

“It’s a bit more efficient and at least people know what their options are,” said Goddard.

“We’ve recommended council complete the OCP amendment and then look at the other applications rather than going forward willy-nilly.”

Increasing the density in Albion would make it easier to service the area with a sewer line and add much-needed infrastructure.

“It’s a more effective use of your land and more effective use of your infrastructure,” said Maple Ridge’s CAO Jim Rule.

“I feel this is heading in the right direction,” said Coun. Al Hogarth. “This will help drive where we are going with servicing.”

The density review will be discussed at next Tuesday’s council meeting and the public will have an opportunity to comment on the proposed changes in late April or early May.

“This is not going to look like the area of 104 [Ave] and 240th. It is going to look less dense than that,” said Coun. Mike Morden.

“This is the responsible thing to do.”

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