Opponents of a proposal to build a 35-hectare park at the south end of Pitt Meadows want council to put the project on hold and focus instead on fixing drainage problems.
Manager of parks Bruce McLeod was set to present the project to council at a committee meeting Tuesday.
The final concept plan includes an expanded community garden, gravel walking trails, as well as enhancing wetland and wildlife habitat on the property, located at Bonson Road and Airport Way.
An undulating water course would run through the park, feature wildlife viewing platforms and eventually connect with the Katzie Slough.
Ken Joyner, who lives nearby, isn’t pleased with the final design and plans to dig up rich, unspoiled soil.
“This is a cover-up for mismanagement of drainage in the area,” said Joyner, who sat on the park design steering committee.
He rather have the area, currently zoned agricultural and green space, left as is. He doesn’t mind extending the community gardens and adding trails, but doesn’t want another “drainage channel” coursing through what’s essentially his backyard.
“They plan on destroying eight to 10 acres more of pristine, organic soil for a drainage problem that can be easily fixed,” Joyner added.
The park department has requested a $150,000 in the budget for the project.
McLeod said it has $50,000 available for trails and a budget of $25,000 for the community garden expansion this year.
TransLink would chip in up to $150,000 to build a “low flow channel.”
The city also plans on applying for grants to offset costs.
If the budget is approved, the parks department would like to begin construction in May.
Coun. Bruce Bell says he doesn’t support the final concept for the park and also rather see the city focus on fixing the area’s drainage problems.
Council will vote on the park design at its regular meeting next week.
Osprey Village to get more offices
The developer of Osprey Village is asking city council to change a zoning bylaw to permit office space on the ground floor.
The community’s current designation permits office use, but only above street level.
Over the years, the zoning bylaw has been amended to allow a wider variety of businesses to locate in Osprey Village. Some uses include the dog daycare and child daycare.
In early December, council adopted a zoning bylaw that amended the definition of retail to include photography and artist studios and uses that make items for retail sale on site, such as bakeries and goldsmiths.
Mayor Deb Walters said the request by developer Mosaic makes sense and will support it. She noted the space could be used by a variety of businesses, including travel agents, dentists or accountants.
“Let’s provide services to the people down there and bring people to the village. That’s what we want. We want it to be vibrant,” Walters added.
“What we are doing is allowing more opportunity for business.”
Council was set to vote on the text amendment at a committee meeting Tuesday but will formally vote on it again at a regular meeting.