Thursday, September 17, 2009

Can we stop the onslaught of sprawl in Maple Ridge

In a word "no". That does not however change the view of many, many people in Maple Ridge that it is folly - to put it very mildly - to continue expanding this village any further than it already has encroached on it natural surroundings and in the case of farmlands, unnatural green spaces.

Proponents (mostly self-serving, as in the case of Al Hogarth) of development can be heard to say very often that: "The farmland is useless so we may as well get added value, by building on it." Entrenched as they are, they miss the point entirely. The planet can no longer afford to cover over its natural habitat. It simply can't.

What we must do, and 'we' includes Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows is resist all temptation to develop any further natural space until such time as all the brownfield and bluefield options have been exhausted.

I wish upon wish that this council will wipe that glazed look off its face and face up to the fact that Jackson Farm cannot be whored-out for the sake of profit. In many ways this postage stamp of a hill represents the last stand in the battle of sprawl against sanity.

The legal arguments are irrelevant. Who said what and when is pointless, whether it was the dying wish of old man Jackson or some clause in the OCP is insignificant. The only issue is the universal realization that destroying green space for human habitation will lead inevitably to the destruction of the very things that sustain the planet and the only conclusion - even the dumbest among must surely understand - is that the final result will impact fatally on our own species.

It was wonderful to hear so many, eloquent speakers argue for the rejection of the proposal now before council with respect to Jackson Farm.

Sadly, there was no indication on the faces of the Mayor or council that they could give two hoots. Politicians and planners in Maple Ridge continue their fearless unabated onslaught on our natural environment. And as one young speaker said during the public hearing on Tuesday night, in what was the most significant statement of the evening:"How dare you?"

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