House needs to be addressed

Letter writer says this segment of Maple Ridge has been chronically neglected by the district.

Editor, The News:

Re: Raided drug house to be inspected (The News, March 14).

When a heritage house, recognized by a district council, degenerates to become a perpetual drug house and raided repeatedly, it is a matter of disgrace and grave concern to the city fathers.

It deserves immediate action to neutralize the primary culprits.

It has bothered me since 2003, when I moved from Ontario to this part of Maple Ridge: Why always this neighbourhood?

It took some time for me to recognize the fact that historically a ‘Harlem of Maple Ridge’ has existed along the evil axis of 224th Street, south of Lougheed Highway, down to River Road area.

In the past we have been “blessed” with some unique situations within this criminal-infested area, such as the Northumberland Court, the gym-drug building, another drug processing house next to TAGGS dispensary on 224th Street, prostitutes and pimps operating on North Avenue, weekly break-ins, thefts and nuisances by the homeless along the River Road area and now, the latest reported heritage house full of drug-dealing squatters.

I thank our police department for their timely raids and the appropriate actions of our council on most of the above evils.

However, the fact of the matter is, this segment of Maple Ridge has been chronically neglected by the district.

My old complaints to the previous mayor were finally listened to only by the current mayor and some positive action taken.

Unfortunately, most of the development funds of the District of Maple Ridge go to other parts of the downtown. Our neighbourhood has been perpetually complaining about street lights, speeding traffic and sidewalks.

Lately, some private developers have started investing millions of dollars in our neighbourhood to construct condos and, possibly, a new hotel.

Any undesirable spots as the above heritage house will be counter-productive to positive growth in our neighbourhood.

We urgently need prompt measures to eradicate this scandal and similar cases in our neighbourhood.

This property might, possibly, merit a speedy acquisition confiscation by the Civil Forfeiture Office.

Hari Pal

Maple Ridge