Councillor wants condos, industry

Coun. Mike Morden responds to an editorial that urged Maple Ridge to stick to its plan for Albion

Coun. Mike Morden.

Coun. Mike Morden.

Editor, The News:

Re: News Views: Stick to the plan (The News, March 7.)

My vision for south Albion is for a much higher and better use of the existing land. This would include dense mixed-use industrial-commercial, as well as high rise-towers, should the landowners embrace this concept.

This will provide the whole Albion community with a chance to get the amenities it doesn’t have now, including a West Coast Express station and an overpass for better access, complementing the proposed (commercial) plans for the north side in the Albion flats.

I see this as our chance to give Albion what it deserves –  a truly complete community.

Consultant Paul Rollo’s commercial-industrial strategy proposes lowering employment targets.

This I strongly oppose. Maple Ridge needs more employment – in all forms.

I have supported all the lands identified in this strategy for employment generation.

In fact, I want more employment lands, not less, as some of our industrial base in the plan will be hard to realize, such as the north 256th  Street area.

I also did not suggest any more standard (single family) homes, as the editorial stated, as these are well provided for elsewhere. The 160 acres currently provides $1.9M in tax revenue, with 37 acres vacant, 47 acres under-utilized, employing around 1,000 people. I see an opportunity to facilitate a much better result.

I also stated I supported the development of the Fraser River waterfront, south of downtown.

As a proponent of the town core incentive program that provided $100M in construction value from a $1M investment, it is evident employment and a stronger local economy can be achieved with the right plan.

I also see connections between communities along the waterfront.

The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure lands that lies between the Albion Industiral Area and Port Haney, will assist in achieving this.

I see trails for pedestrians and bicycles along the whole waterfront, providing connectivity between the two.

Densifying along this whole transportation corridor utilizes our existing infrastructure more efficiently with a nice bonus of fulfilling the plan visualized in the province’s “Experience the Fraser” which is a trail connecting Hope to Vancouver.

Mike Morden

Councillor, Maple Ridge

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