Editor, The News:
On behalf of Residents for Smart Shopping, I am pleased to hear that the ALC has provided comments to the district on the draft Albion Flats Concept Plan.
As you may recall, RSS was actively involved throughout last year’s charette and we were very supportive of the plan that the former council sent to the ALC last spring for comment.
We think it is important for Maple Ridge residents to know that although Mayor Ernie Daykin mentioned the feedback from the ALC during his inaugural address last week, they were only comments from the commission. The ALC has not made any formal decision on what the future of those lands will be, as it cannot do so in the absence of a full ALR exclusion application.
That is the next step of the process.
It is for this reason that RSS do not want to close the door on the overall concept plan that was endorsed by the majority of our previous council for development on both sides of 105th Avenue.
We know that there are those who do not support our cause and our desire to see more shopping in Maple Ridge, but for those who do, we are still very sceptical that a plan showing development only east of 105th Avenue will ever happen.
Why? The answer is simple: cost.
The ALC’s comments were clear that to have development east of 105th Avenue, the district needs to fix the drainage west of 105th Avenue.
We can only speculate what those costs may be, but we know one thing – the money has to come from somewhere, and based on past experience, that means Maple Ridge taxpayers, yet again.
Our current council is proposing to hit us with another tax increase shortly, and nothing has been done in the Albion yet.
As RSS have been stressing over the past two years, we need a plan for the Albion flats that not only brings jobs, services, and shopping, but brings an increased tax base to pay for everything we want to see.
Do not shut the door yet on development on both sides of 105th Ave. We think that would be leaving a huge opportunity on the table, and I know that as one Maple Ridge resident, I am not prepared to see an increase in my taxes to get a plan that is only half developed.