By Monique Tamminga/Special to The News
Pitt Meadows offers a great location to raise a family and operate a business.
Currently home to 20,000 people, Pitt Meadows has its own airport, major mall, movie theatre and vibrant, walkable downtown as well as the river-side Osprey Village.
With 86 per cent of the land mass in Pitt Meadows in the BC Agricultural Land Reserve, farming is a big industry.
Local farms grow a variety of crops, and the area is probably best known for its greenhouses and small fruit; namely, the delicious blueberry and cranberry.
“Our residents enjoy shopping for local blueberries, cranberries, honey, milk and meat from family farms throughout Pitt Meadows,” said Mayor Bill Dingwall.
The Pitt Meadows Regional Airport (YPK), is centrally located to serve surrounding communities in the Metro Vancouver region.
A big bonus for Pitt Meadows is the location providing easy access to major regional transportation routes. Golden Ears Bridge connects Pitt Meadows to Surrey and Langley. The Pitt River Bridge connects to Port Coquitlam and points west, including Vancouver. The West Coast Express connects to downtown Vancouver. TransLink recently launched a Rapid Bus that runs down Lougheed to Coquitlam, and has east and west stops in Pitt Meadows.
The increase in light industrial and business park space means that Pitt Meadows is home to a wide variety of industries increasing local employment.
Work on the Pitt Meadows Official Community Plan is nearing completion, and part of that planning process included a review of housing stock – current availability and what is needed to accommodate future growth.
NORTH LOUGHEED LAND USE PLAN
Recently, council endorsed the North Lougheed Study Area (NLSA) Land Use Plan. This a 125-acre area that is a critical development for the community in terms of homes, jobs, services and taxes, said Dingwall.
The vision is to create a cohesive mixed-use community development that complements the stunning vistas of the farmlands and mountains, and incorporates transit-oriented residential and employment areas with extensive open green space.
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, the city quickly mobilized to ensure that the community was safe and that the city did its part to stop the spread, said Dingwall.
“Our staff continued to work hard to ensure core essential services were maintained while managing municipal finances effectively.”
On March 25, council established an Economic Resiliency Task Force (ERTF) to assist local businesses by providing information about accessing senior government support, working together and facilitating economic recovery.
The city cancelled or postponed many capital projects to free up funds to pay for pandemic expenses, revenue shortfalls and the residential grant relief program. It redeployed parks and rec staff to the Bylaw Task Force and released 47 part-time and temporary staff, suspended exempt salary increments and council cost of living increases, cancelled all staff training and professional development; and implemented a hiring freeze during the shut down.
Despite the many challenges, the mayor saw great resiliency and compassion in the community.
“Throughout the pandemic, we are witness to amazing acts of kindness, compassion, courage and commitment. Neighbours have been checking in on neighbours, and many community series have stepped up and sprung into action.”
Local businesses, service providers and farms play a critical role in our community and our quality of life.
Now more than ever it is critical to show support and celebrate local businesses and ensure that they are able to survive these challenging times.
HEART OF ECONOMY
“Pitt Meadows is proud of its local business community,” said Dingwall.
“In these trying times, it is vital that we shop local. It is very exciting to see our local businesses finding creative ways to serve the community,” the mayor added.
“We are asking residents to support their favourite shops and restaurants when they need it most.”
Local businesses are the heart of our local economy, says chief administrative officer Mark Roberts.
“They provide important goods and services close to home, job opportunities as well as property taxes and business licence fees that allow for enhanced services and amenities for the community.”
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