Monday, December 14, 2009

Northumberland Court heads to court

This will be the last update from MRCC.

As things stand the city has put forward various motions in council chambers in an attempt to clean up Northumberland Court. Whether they follow through with these motions is another story all together, but this is their choice. Community members can still exert influence should they wish, but at the end of the day if council and senior staff chose not to follow their own directives the only option is civil court and that is hardly an option given the cost and complexities of court.

Outstanding items as a result of motions in council are as follows:

1. Business license suspension – This was passed in council chambers as a motion but is still not being enforced.

2. Remedial repairs – The repairs were all passed as a series of motions but to date the city still has not complied with their directive, nor has there been a discussion as to whether this is the best use of city funds.

Both of these items were passed roughly nine months ago so whether they will ever be fully honoured remains up in the air. Only the director of bylaws, Brock McDonald, can say whether these motions will be completed and in what time frame.

As it stands it is much more quiet in and around Northumberland Court. Compared to the last few years there is certainly much in the way of improvement when it comes to safety, but this comparison is based on a complex that had hundreds of police calls per year and numerous instances with the tactical squad being called out in full gear to perform a raid.

Thanks to everyone that took the time to get involved whether it was a phone call, an email, showing up at city hall or at a community meeting, as well thanks to the Maple Ridge Times and Maple Ridge News for keeping this story in the papers. City hall ignored this issue for years and that is how it got to such a state. This type of advocacy and community based pressure is what told city hall they could not willingly ignore this issue any longer. Hopefully going forward city hall will live up to their quotes in the papers, as well as the tough talk in council chambers and get this situation cleaned up for the long term. Even more hope should be pinned on the idea that they learned something during all these years and don't allow such a situation to happen again.

Once again thanks to everyone for their time and effort.


The decline of the downtown core goes unabated. If it takes so many years, and so much effort from the community to fix this one problem, then it seems unlikely the eventual revitalization of downtown Maple Ridge will come about other than through the passage of time. 

Many, many Mayors, councils and senior management will come and go, passing the baton of banality and ennui from one to the next while time, the District's only dependable planner, will see to it that everything, perhaps, works out for the best in the end. 

This weekend past Radio Haney took a walk along the horse trails on Thornhill, and marveled at the Valley in this fresh December snow. For a brief  moment, surrounded by trees, snow and quietude, all seemed fair in Maple Ridge. And then it struck us that if the District continues its subdivision by division rape of what little is left of the natural environment in this municipality, it won't be long before where we stood was likely in someone's future off-the-shelf, dreadful living room or deck. A living room or deck that would be replicated all along the ridge of this forest to Mission. 

The hell with it, I thought, I 'll just enjoy it now for what it is, a gift this winter's day. If our leaders think so little, and know so little, of this green space, why should I care?

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