Silver Valley plan a jewel in the crown of Maple Ridge

Editor, The News:

Although the development application in this article has been withdrawn at this time, I find it disturbing that staff would recommend, and council would consider, allowing density bonusing in the Silver Valley area, especially as Silver Valley residents already feel betrayed by council for previously approving a development in the area that contravenes the Silver Valley Area Plan and the OCP based on density bonusing.

When Silver Valley was opened up for development, the council of the day courageously and with much cost decided to have the first area plan for Maple Ridge. To that end, the district hired an internationally recognized urban design company called Civitas to implement the plan. All local stakeholders and residents were involved along with other notables, such as Smart Growth B.C. and Patrick Condon, chair of Urban Design at UBC.

After a long process with much debate, the Silver Valley Area Plan was adopted into the Maple Ridge OCP on Sept.  10 – 1996. At the time it was touted as a jewel in the crown for Maple Ridge and the way to proceed for all future area plans.

Based on Smart Growth principles and environmental sustainability, it allowed for comparable density as conventional development, but with 30 per cent more green space.

Now, the present council, the majority who were not on council when the Silver Valley Area Plan was fought for and adopted with much passion by all involved, are considering ignoring the plan anytime a developer with big pockets wants to contravene it.

As a long-time Silver Valley resident and member of the Silver Valley Neighbourhood Association who was there from the beginning, I am very proud of the Silver Valley Area Plan and would urge all councillors and the mayor to read it. I have a beautiful full colour copy of the plan, which I keep handy for reference and would be happy to lend it to any of the councillors who would be interested.

Doug Stanger

Maple Ridge

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