Maple Ridge, British Columbia, Canada city council wants more facts before it considers rezoning 41 acres for a business park



[GBP Note:  This article highlights some of the issues facing the parties involved with deciding to go ahead with a business park.]

Business park plan for beneath Golden Ears bridge

By Phil Melnychuk – Maple Ridge News
Published: August 30, 2012 5:00 PM
Updated: August 30, 2012 5:18 PM

Maple Ridge council wants more facts before it considers rezoning 41 acres in Hammond for a business park.

Council deferred the request Tuesday until it gets more details from Camp Development, a partnership that includes Aquilini Development and Construction.

“It’ll come back to us in a month, a couple of months, maybe,” said Mayor Ernie Daykin.

The politicians want to know if the applicant has addressed road access to the site at 11055 Hazelwood St. and whether it’s willing to consult the neighbours on how the former TransLink property will be developed.

“I think an important part of the process will be that whole neighborhood engagement.”

Daykin wants Camp Development to consult with what used to be a neighborhood liaison committee that was formed when TransLink was planning to build a bus maintenance yard in that location.

That project was shelved in 2009 and the property then reverted to Camp Development ownership after previously being expropriated by TransLink.

According to a Maple Ridge staff report, part of the property had already been preloaded with soil in preparation for the bus yard.

The property is accessed through Kingston and Wharf streets, and is adjacent to the historic Hammond area and within the 200-year flood plain of the Fraser River.

Council was also concerned about methods that will be used to separate or buffer a future business park from neighboring homes, as well as the type or amount of soil or fill that will be brought on to the property before construction.

Camp Development, though, has already met with some of the neighbours, said Kevin Hussey, with Aquilini Development, part of the Aquilini Investment Groups, which owns thousands of acres of berry fields in Pitt Meadows, as well as the Vancouver Canucks.

Hussey has read the files detailing the concerns neighbours had about TransLink’s property.

“We know the concerns they had during the TransLink process. We’re looking forward to working with the community through the process, to make sure they’re on board.

“We’re excited about the project. We’re excited to get council the information they need so we can move it ahead.”

A staff report says the proposed rezoning to M3 allows development of either business park or big box retail. But a shopping mall isn’t the company’s goal.

“Our intention is an industrial business park, the design of which is still coming. Our intention is not a big box retail. That’s not our intention.”

He said the company is open to different concepts for the business park, depending on the market, and that an industrial park fits with Maple Ridge’s official community plan.

Daykin said when TransLink was planning its bus maintenance yard, it was preparing to address some of the storm-water drainage problems in the area.

“I think there can be a neighborhood win, for sure.”

“I’m still really optimistic, really positive about the potential. I think there’s some really exciting potential there.”

The staff report also says the company knows about the environmentally sensitive areas on the site.

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