Thursday, January 11, 2007

The Albion Sports Complex would create a centre of excellence for the youth of Maple Ridge

It will be some years before the community of Maple Ridge - particularly those who live in the Albion or Kanaka Creek area - decides what land use would be acceptable and desirable for one of the few remaining agricultural zones in the District. For a few years now a company called FirstPro (it recently changed its name to the more palatable and user friendly "SmartCentres" presumably following all the other smarts; SmartGrowth, Smart Cars, Smart Energy etc) has been enthusiastically assembling as many of the lots in the Albion as it could lay its hands on. This speculative buying as its endgame the construction of a large, typical strip mall occupied largely by Wall-Mart. Given that we now live in an age where consumerism has evolved into a full-time hobby for most of us, it comes as no surprise that big box names are lurking in the reeds at the Albion waiting to put their foundations down. Valid and well-established arguments exist for and against.

And while we all have our opinions, the District of Maple Ridge - politicians and staff - are less fortunate than us the citizenry. Citizens are entitled to their opinions; government is only entitled to facts.

Whether or not we see a legacy-type sports complex where we can hold provincial, national and even international sporting events ,or whether we are handed yet another venue for running up our credit cards and overdrafts, remains to be seen. It will all come down to opinion versus fact in a sort WWF of urban planning. I can already hear the crowd getting restless.......they are calling for blood as the proponents of the battle for Albion Green Belt get ready to ruuuuuuuuuuumballllllllllll!!!!!

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