ARMS president Ken Stewart and director John Dale on the banks of the Alouette River where the subdivision is proposed. (Neil Corbett/The News)

Maple Ridge riverfront subdivision approval dialed back

Staff recommends new public hearings, ARMs and Katzie oppose development

The controversial riverfront subdivision along the Alouette River in Maple Ridge won’t get final approval from Maple Ridge council tonight.

City council may be dialing back the approval process for the 26-home subdivision on 241st Street, just north of Meadowridge School.

Staff is recommending council rescind second and third reading of the bylaws for the eight-hectare subdivision, that they be amended, and that public hearings be held again. They are scheduled for June 15.

The conservation group Alouette River Management Society (ARMS) opposes the subdivision, and president Ken Stewart said the public hearing process will be a chance for councillors to change their minds about the plan. It had been slated for final approval.

READ ALSO: Controversial riverfront development before Maple Ridge city council

“They can check their morals and conscience and do what’s right,” said Stewart.

ARMS is poised to take legal action against the city if the subdivision is approved. The group has argued the project allows too much construction in a flood plain, and that it could change the hydrology of the river and result in loss of habitat for wildlife.

The Katzie First Nation has also opposed the plan, saying there has been a “lack of meaningful consultation at the onset of the project and a lack of engagement to date.”

READ ALSO: Katzie oppose controversial Maple Ridge riverfront subdivision

City staff recommended final approval of the project in an agenda for the May 12 council meeting, but it was deferred until tonight (May 25) after the city received the Katzie letter.

Stewart believes the bylaws are being rescinded and amended on the advice of the city lawyers, in light of the threat of legal action. The issue has likely been dealt with in private meetings, as legal matters generally are.

READ ALSO: Maple Ridge public hearing blasts housing plan near river

The last public hearing was held in April 2019, and the plan was criticized for most of three hours.

The properties involved are located at 12555, 12599, and 12516 240th Street, and 12511 241 Street.

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