Maple Ridge council is working toward creating a commercial/industrial development at the intersection of 232nd Street and 128th Avenue in Yennadon.
Council heard on Tuesday that property owners of the “Yennadon Lands” are interested in re-developing.
Manager of community planning Brent Elliott said it would not be heavy industry, adding that today’s industrial parks include office space and a variety of uses that include commercial operations, and facilities for education and arts and culture.
Creating jobs is the city’s goal.
“We’re just starting. We’re going to want to talk to people about what they want to see there,” said Elliott.
He offered a report to council on the site, which consists of 25 hectares across 13 properties. One of the properties is still in the agricultural land reserve, as a small hobby farm.
City planners met with property owners, and there were 18 people representing 11 of the 13 properties. They had questions about timing, and some were not interested in redeveloping in the short-term, but did support a planning process for the site.
Elliott said the city needs and additional 69-93 hectares of employment lands by 2040, according to its commercial and industrial strategy.
This is one of few suitable sites.
“The city has a dearth of employment lands, and we need somewhere around 200 acres or so,” Elliott told council.
Due to the need for stream setbacks, only about 80 per cent of the property will be usable for development.
The site is surrounded by farmland, large residential estates and urban residential properties. It is outside the city’s urban area boundary.
“Sensitive building form and levels of activity would be required,” said Elliott, adding that the development should mimic residential styles.
Mayor Mike Morden said the development needs to fit in the neighbourhood.
“Make sure that whatever we are doing interfaces in a way that two dissimilar zones can live happily alongside each other,” he added.
The city will have a consultation process with land owners and the wider community, including small workshops, a community open house and online surveys. That process will begin in the fall.
“It only took 12 years to get here,” said Coun. Gordy Robson, who asked if the process could move faster and noted that it appears to be a two or three-year process.
“I’m excited. We need this badly… fast, fast, fast, go, go, go.”
Elliott said staff could target a six-month time frame, but noted the city limits consultation during the summer, and there are other study areas city hall is looking at.
Council passed a motion directing staff to undertake an employment land-use re-designation process and a consultation strategy.