MR council decisions on land use irrational

Editor, The News:

While I support council’s efforts to improve and develop our town core, I am upset and very concerned about motions passed by the majority of council, including the mayor, that contradict main principles of our Official Community Plan (OCP).

How can council be supporting our town core’s health while voting to remove land prematurely from the urban land reserve (the Jackson Farm compromise) and to remove Albion flats land from the Agricultural Land Reserve, causing more urban sprawl? The Pelton farm proposal was rejected by the Agricultural Land Commission and now an option to develop commercially most of Albion flats will probably be forwarded to the commission.

Some council members have been quoted in the local papers, saying that this type of development is welcomed by the majority of the people of Maple Ridge. I’ve not seen the data on this so, I wonder what majority is being referred to. Perhaps the unofficial poll taken at the recent open house on plans for Albion flats will give us some information about people’s views.

I and many other long-time residents of Maple Ridge do not support this kind of speculative, ill-conceived and irrational development. We need to use the existing, under-utilized commercial space in the town core first and continue efforts to enhance this area.

Please do not continue to contradict the main principles on land use in our Official Community Plan.

I have expressed my many concerns about this type of development in more detail through an e-mail to the mayor and council and in the draft plan questionnaire. Leave the potential farm land alone. Densify our town centre and re-vitalize businesses in Maple Ridge.

B. Handford

Maple Ridge