Friday, May 29, 2009

Recycled arguments no match for District of Maple Ridge policy

It is silly season again in Maple Ridge. Appropriately public debate has swung around again to the debate on land use down in Albion. In the most recent round of publicly reported ideas we find nothing new. The recycling facility south of the Lougheed must have been going full tilt in the words, phrases and idea department.

Nothing wrong with public debate of course; let the public have it. Anyone seriously interested in the future of the Albion however need look no further than development applications going through the Maple Ridge planning department to understand that indeed a large mall of some sort will inevitably be built in the Albion; probably not for a decade or two, but it will come.

Building single family homes in subdivisions moving east from 240th to 284th on the Mission border is the ultimate goal. Single family homes, built on previously undeveloped land is the crack cocaine of the planning department. There is little hope - call it no hope - of this ever changing. Any talk of densification in the town core is just that, talk, a fop thrown at the greenerati (the intellectually green) to pacify them and make them feel good, and of course to make them feel that theirs is a worthy and rewarding cause.

With the Golden Ears Bridge weeks away from opening and its cousin the Pitt River Bridge due to open in the fall, one can already sense big changes are coming to Maple Ridge. It is not beyond comprehension to see this town hit a population of 250,000 by the turn of the century. The debate on the Albion will be long forgotten and 8 lanes will connect Maple Ridge and Mission with a fast train link along the 100% developed corridor between the two towns. Visitors will find a collection of high rises in our core and all the houses in Maple Crescent will be due for renovation. The Home Depot on Albion flats will be very busy.

The debate we had on agricultural land applications and the Albion in 1980s/90s and 00s will seem as trivial then as they are indeed now.

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