Editor, The News:
Re: Old Albion hall will soon be no more (The News, March 23).
The fate of the Albion Hall seems to be the result of a council that knows the cost of everything and the value of nothing.
This approach, if followed by previous councils, would have resulted in the destruction of Thomas Haney House, Ruskin Hall, The CEED Centre and other treasured relics that help to link our emerging community identity with our heritage.
Albion Hall represents the rural roots of the Albion flats and stands in stark contrast to the redevelopment ambitions of a council that intends to transform this area into a place that is just like everywhere else.
One has to wonder why this building and land are being donated to the district, if the outcome will be its speedy demise and some vague promise of a new facility sometime in the distant future?
Once again, the principles of our community plan are cast aside.
Is council’s decision consistent with Principles 4-7?
The community recognizes that components of the built and natural environments contribute to the character of Maple Ridge and sense of community, and in turn, ‘placemaking.’
Building a unique community character is critical to ensuring that Maple Ridge does not succumb to pressure and becomes like ‘everywhere else.’ It requires strong political and community commitment and attention to a variety of aspects (landscapes, built form, heritage, mix of uses, urban design, services, etc.).
The community recognizes the need to foster the history of Maple Ridge and enhance historic areas.
Special places and neighbourhoods are valued as significant components of the larger community, each with unique attributes.
Those individuals responsible need to put this donation on hold.
The parks and leisure director needs to follow the district’s community development philosophy, embodied in the master plan, and reach out to the residents of Albion.
Hold a community meeting at Albion Hall and engage residents in a process to thoroughly explore options for the hall’s future.
Surely, if council can spend more than $100,000 on the plan to urbanize the agricultural land that is the Albion flats, it can find a few dollars to spend on coffee and cookies to get the local community involved in something that doesn’t involve shopping.