Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Agricultural Plan received in the normal manner

Another plan, another day. As they say in Brazil: "Same shit, different flies."

The dreary pro-development community will face off again against the dreary environmentalists.

Don't worry, nothing will come of this that can harm anyone. Our agricultural heritage is safe. Mainly because this District has such a reputation for the ineptitude of its planning department that no developer (no serious developer) will ever come near the place.

We are, it seems clear, protected by the lackluster performance our council and staff. Sure, the mayor and four council members will make statements that sound eerily as though they wish to pave over this north east corner of the Fraser Valley. Our other two members will make the standard counter arguments. And so it goes. Mid-summer, hot-hot-hot.

The Agri-Plan as it has been named was unveiled at a recent workshop. The public are informed that next week they can comment on it. The developers are off playing golf somewhere, the realtors are selling houses. The Pitt Polder team will show up - and one or two others.

The feeling we get is that this community has turned its back on the endless stream of 'information meetings' that cast irritatingly in our path as we negotiate the flat economy.
Twenty-five people showed up to review the public transport show put on by Translink. Twenty-five out of 73,000. So much for public interest.

That is not to say that the District is totally useless. Good things come out of Haney Place once in a while. True, expectations are low. Where the District fails spectacularly is in its communications with the public. At every level one hears nothing but complaints.

It will be interesting (sort of) to follow the life of the Agri-Plan. The Mayor says it is a step in the right direction. Is it really? A step? In the right direction? How does he know this?

If it is like all the other plans that preceded it then I'd like to think of it as a step in no direction at all. If today's Maple Ridge is the destination set by some previous 'step in the right' direction then one wonders where we got off the path?

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