Editor, The News:
Re: No agreement on future of Albion flats (mapleridgenews.com)
Perusing the various options and plans presented, I must say that there was nothing there that spoke to me, all more uninspiring that the other. Clearly, if there was one it would stand out immediately as the contender for further consideration.
We are not there yet and the reason for that is the basic questions have not been put forward to define the terms of reference. Some of these might be:
• What is the geographic area to be studied? Given the poor performance of the south side of Albion, why was it not included in the study area?
• What are the key issues or goals that should be addressed?
• Is job creation a priority? We all know that this is a most important aspect, so why not include the derelict south side and re-invent it?
• If keeping good quality agricultural land in our ‘bank’ is important, why pave it over when the south side is begging? The ag lands are not the issue, jobs are.
• I’ll say it again, the key to preserving agriculture land resides on the south side.
• If we want to maintain and possibly expand the recreational lands, why redevelop that side? Let’s keep it for future expansion.
• If we want to expand on the exhibition multiplex idea, why not develop the south side? Let’s keep some land for future expansion.
• Why was the West Coast Express not identified or connected or used as a catalyst on any of the options? This is the most important piece of infrastructure in this area and not taken into consideration. I am totally baffled. Any plan for the Albion north or south has to take this as a key component.
Ideally, a new station should be located at the centre of gravity, probably at 105 Avenue, as this represents the main north-south connector. I know it needs an overpass, or underpass, but all can be resolved. Let the engineers figure that out – and they would.
The plan I developed along with Claus Andrup for the Albion waterfront was never meant to compete with downtown, but to create a new neighborhood with some services, but most of all create a sense of place, possibly an attraction that would draw folks from beyond our district borders.
By the way, the village on the sketch used up only 20 per cent of the area, or 10 per cent of all Albion land, north and south, so close to 75 per cent was for business park and industrial producing– conservatively around 3,000 jobs.
Imagine young families moving into townhouses or condos and being able to walk to work, bring the kids to school without taking the car and mingling with visitors at the bistros in the evening.
This is about creating a lifestyle, and jobs.
All of the above is offered without any political affiliation, nor in the pocket of any land owner nor at the service of any developer, just as I believe, a basic and sound planning opinion.