A petition with 628 signatures protesting the development of the North Lougheed Study Area and the implementation of a new connector road will be put before Pitt Meadows City council on Tuesday, May 26.
Maureen Robertson, one of the authors of the petition, would like to see the parcel of land be turned into farmland.
“A few of us were out collecting signatures and I would say that the overall reaction when people were made aware of what was potentially happening in the North Lougheed Study Area was a concern about farmland,” she said.
“They like living in Pitt Meadows because it has the small community feel, and that it’s 78 per cent farmland, so it’s a real concern that more farmland would be taken out of the Agricultural Land Reserve.”
She said the exclusion approval for the study area by the Agricultural Land Committee was based on outdated traffic and development planning information, which she and co-author, Sandie Banni, will be changed due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
They also argue there is no need for a new North Lougheed connector road and would like to see further environmental assessment before any more development takes place.
Pitt Meadows Mayor Bill Dingwall said he and chief administrative officer, Mark Roberts, will address the petition during Tuesday’s meeting but offered a short response in the meantime.
“The North Lougheed Study Area has already received exclusion permission from the ALC with conditions,” he said.
“The city is continuing to move forward on this significant development of 125 acres, which is likely to include residential – both medium and high density – especially in light of the rapid bus running up the Lougheed; commercial and mixed employment/light industrial, as well as green areas,” Dingwall said.
“There will be traffic calming on Old Dewdney, and we are working with the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure on Lougheed Highway improvements as well as the creation of a North Connector Road.”
He added the the development – which has been contemplated by Pitt Meadows councils since the mid 1980s – fits within the vision of residential growth, jobs, commercial service; and taxes and city services, as well as improving congestion and transportation issues in the corridors.
Dingwall also points to the two residential developments on the North side of Lougheed Highway, which was adjacent to the NLSA and the Meadow Gardens Golf Course, as success stories for land that was previously part of the Agricultural Land Reserve, which is now being utilized well.
• Stay tuned for more from Tuesday’s council meeting