The Hammond Cedar sawmill had been in operation since 1910 before its closure in late September. (George Fournier – Maple Ridge Museum & Archives)

Top Stories 2019: Future of former Hammond Cedar sawmill site unknown

City didn’t plan for closure, Maple Ridge councillor says

The City of Maple Ridge was caught by surprise when it was announced that the historic Hammond Cedar sawmill would be shut down, leaving the future of the industrial site in question.

“The loss of the mill was not expected by the city or the neighbourhood and thus no pre-planning of the site was done when the Hammond Area Plan was adopted in early 2017,” said Chuck Goddard, director of planning.

READ MORE: Interfor closing B.C.’s historic Hammond Cedar sawmill

The 109-year-old mill was closed as part of a reorganization of Interfor Corp.’s coastal operations, resulting in about 200 people losing their jobs and leaving the future of the site unknown.

“Generally speaking, the official community plan supports retention of all our current industrial designated lands in the city,” Goddard explained.

“There is also a general shortage of industrial land in the region and many communities are looking for a way to increase the supply. We are also looking for additional lands in the range of approximately 200-plus acres for future industrial uses.”

The former sawmill site (20580 Maple Cres.) is currently zoned for general industrial (M-2), which allows for a significant range of industrial uses, he added.

In the city’s recently adopted commercial industrial strategy, future industrial land has been set aside along Lougheed Highway, east of 240th Street, and lands at the northern end of 256th Street, according to Goddard.

But as the strategy outlines, Maple Ridge is still forecasting to face a shortage of industrial lands within 10 years.

The area is currently marketed as an industrial site and Goddard said the city has had a few inquiries, but the new owner could seek to rezone the site for a business park (M-3).

“Which, in my opinion, might be a good fit with the existing residential homes nearby,” he said. “I would think the impacts would be fewer with such users.”

READ MORE: 200 out of work as Hammond Cedar to close

However, residential use could also be a possibility.

“A rezoning to residential use would require a significantly more complicated process. A regional land use designation change would have to occur and be difficult to justify,” Goddard explained.

“I would think this would require another public engagement process with Hammond residents before council would consider a non-industrial use of some or all of the site.”

City staff would prefer the site remain for industrial use, as it works to develop more lands for that same use.

“Such new lands will allow more Maple Ridge residents to work with the city boundaries, reduce commuting and thus our carbon footprint, support the local economy and improve our tax base and reduce the tax burden on our residential property tax base,” Goddard said.


@JotiGrewal_
joti.grewal@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Just Posted

LETTER: New procedures to address council are a big concern

Donna Clay says asking public to wait until end of meetings to raise questions is inpractical

Ridge Meadows house leage softball sign-up this Thursday

Players have the option to register in-person or online

Ridge Meadows Hospice Society there for seniors dealing with grief and loss

Discussion on grief and loss to take place at the Maple Ridge Public Library

Cyclist hit Monday in Maple Ridge

Collision on Dewdney Trunk Road, minor injuries

BREAKING: Body found in Maple Ridge identified as Coquitlam soccer player

Edi Bogere-Nyigwo was last seen leaving his Coquitlam home on Dec. 27

VIDEO: Feds look to help 126 Canadians quarantined in China for coronavirus

China has confirmed more than 4,500 cases of the new virus, with more than 100 deaths

Party bus door fault for years ahead of Langley woman’s death: Coroner

Tuesday report classifed Chelsea James’ death accidental, but was critical of bus inspection process

Sap thief taps Saanich park maple trees, faces hefty fine

One tree found with four taps in Mount Doug Park

B.C. reports first coronavirus in Vancouver region

First patient visited Wuhan, China, reported symptoms

Uber threatens legal action to ‘defend its right’ to operate in Surrey

‘I have no concerns,’ Mayor Doug McCallum replies

Victoria resident says WestJet employee uttered racist comment, refused to let her on plane

Customer claims she was told ‘You guys can’t handle your alcohol’ by WestJet employee

Bystander who tried to help dog being attacked not liable for its death: B.C. tribunal

Owner of dog killed tried to get $5,000 in damages from man who tried to save it

INFOGRAPHIC: See how fast your B.C. city grew in 2019

The province’s fastest-growing municipalities were located on Vancouver Island

Landowner hearings begin for Trans Mountain expansion in Alberta

Detailed route talks start in Spruce Grove, in B.C. communities soon

Most Read