Council not reckless on Albion

Editor, The News:

Re: Shopping scenarios to ALC (The News, Feb. 11).

Regarding Phil Melnychuk’s latest article, to say that council has “rejected” the consultant’s advice is misleading, and it is to take the decision, as it was thoughtfully and carefully articulated last Tuesday evening, out of context. 

These meetings are open to the public, so I attended both the Monday and Tuesday meeting last week.  I also witnessed the deliberations first-hand.

Council is not being, nor has not been, reckless with respect to the recommendations given them, as the tone of this article would lead one to believe. But rather, members have looked at the broader body of evidence, including years and years of letters and emails submitted to the mayor, letters to the paper, not to mention the tidal wave of support for shopping evident at the supplementary meeting to the original charette.

Much of this evidence never made it to the HB Lanarc report, which one councillor specifically requested be amended during last Monday’s meeting. So, in fact, council is acting precisely how it should, as judicious stewards of the community’s interests, weighting and weighing as it must, making changes where they are necessary.

Council should be applauded for establishing a broader context, not to mention for being willing to assert the needs of a growing community where, too often, rhetoric frustrates and obfuscates the will and wishes of the silent majority.

James Ruthven

Maple Ridge

An affront

Editor, The News:

Re: Shopping scenarios to ALC (The News, Feb. 11).

After attending Tuesday’s council meeting, I have to say that I am very disappointed in the fact that it did not agree to send forth all the scenarios or options which the charette primer listed to the Agricultural Land Commission. 

By doing this, council is discarding the many citizens’ opinions who took their time to participate and voice their concerns on how the area should be developed.

This quite frankly, to me, is an affront to democracy, when you proceed like this and ignore what so many citizens wanted for this area.

I am shocked that council would cherry pick and only send a narrow perspective of what the citizens demanded at those community public forums.

For one, what happened to Scenario C, The Balance?  This to me is the most sound way to proceed with this divisive land issue.

And, yet, council just arbitrarily decided that it isn’t worth sending to the Agricultural Land Commission.

What is the real agenda here?

I cannot except this blatant position, which in my mind is trying to drive through the developers’ agenda, while ignoring the many citizens who had a very different vision for this area. 

John McKenzie

Maple Ridge

Editor’s note: John McKenzie has declared himself a candidate for Maple Ridge council in this year’s upcoming municipal elections.

Well done

Editor, The News:

Re: Shopping scenarios to ALC (The News, Feb. 11).

Finally. Congratulations to the council members who voted to concentrate on the two options that will hopefully see shopping brought to the Albion flats.

It has been a long process that still has a long way to go, but at least we now have some movement. 

It is imperative that council forwards a detailed and concise plan to the Agricultural Land Commission that will, unlike the Pelton proposal, indicate municipal support for, and the need for a positive response. 

Maple Ridge desperately requires this development, and with this decision, hopefully, a plan can be developed that will satisfy the vast majority of residents and the ALC. 

Well done.

Graham Mowatt

Maple Ridge

Right decision

Editor, The News:

Re: Shopping scenarios to ALC (The News, Feb. 11).

I wanted to take this opportunity, on behalf of Residents for Smart Shopping, to thank those members of council who voted in favor of moving forward with a comprehensive development plan for the Albion flats.

By doing so, Mayor Ernie Daykin and Couns. Cheryl Ashlie, Judy Dueck, Al Hogarth and Mike Morden have demonstrated that they not only listened to the needs of Maple Ridge residents, but that they are also committed to bringing much-needed shopping options to our community.

As my fellow members and I have advocated throughout this ongoing planning process, it would not be in the best interest of our community to consider development only southeast of 105th Avenue. We need to diversify our tax base; we need to revitalize under utilized land; and, most importantly, we need to stop driving outside of this community to do our daily shopping.

Thank-you again for your ongoing commitment and dedication in creating a well-developed, comprehensive land use plan for the Albion flats. You have the support of your community in helping to shape the future of Maple Ridge.

We, as Maple Ridge residents, will continue to do our part to stay engaged in the process and show our commitment to the Albion flats. We look forward to the months ahead and the refinement of a concept plan to bring forward to the Agricultural Land Commission.

Leslie Sofarelli

Maple Ridge