This proposal was made to the District of Maple Ridge early on this Century. It was well-received despite its lofty goals. The along came First Pro which in a typically cynical marketing move rebranded itself "Smart Centres" in a dimwitted attempt to hoodwink those that care, that this bunch of clowns somehow shared the values of Smart Growth on the Ground. Be that as it may, no one was sucked in and Smart Centres were tossed out of Maple Ridge. Not known for being short of ideas Smart Centres took one step west and started buying land along the Lougheed Highway in neighbouring Pitt Meadows. By all accounts things are not now going well for Smart Centres in Pitt Meadows. No problem, the current bickering among politicians in Maple Ridge has opened wide the door to Smart Centres who were quick to spot the gap and here they are again.
The difference today is that the dice are loaded in the favour of Smart Centres. The only thing between Walmart and Costco showing up in boggy Albion is the area plan anticipated in the current Official Community Plan. The betting is that the Albion area plan will be the first item to hit the council chamber in 2009. The background to this is the new West Coast Express station which will be built near 240th in the east Albion area near Bruce's Market.
Protest though ye may the Albion Ferry will be history by this time next year so farewell Fort Langley, it was nice knowing you.
It is an ill wind.....................................