We purchased our home 11 years ago and researched the future plans for the area. We accepted that 124th Avenue may widen and be extended to the east.
That was the only plan for changes to our neighbourhood in the Official Community Plan.
Despite the OCP, the safe, family-oriented, semi-rural feel of our neighbourhood could change drastically in a very short time if a proposed gravel pit is allowed, making 124th Avenue the main access road into and out of the site.
Official community plans are designed to protect many aspects of a community. Our concern is that what is currently protected can change, based on one individual's need for economic gain, and ignoring the serious impact on others.
It seems this change goes against the guiding principles, values, and visions in the OCP for the District of Maple Ridge. Why is Council even considering an application for this development?
Council appears to have a clear goal of protecting citizens and their neighbourhoods, but in the circumstance of the proposed gravel pit, this is not the case.
By considering this development proposal, is council acknowledging the decline in the safety and livability of our neighbourhood if a gravel pit was permitted?
There are numerous proven health risks, declines in property values, declines in quality of life, negative impacts on household and neighbourhood aesthetics, as well as negative impacts on local ecosystems and roadways that could result from the development of a gravel pit and the accompanying truck traffic.
Is this what council had in mind when the OCP was created? Why has council's vision and values changed? Is it mainly for profit at our neighbourhood's expense?
As a resident of the one of the neighbourhoods bordering this proposed development, I urge other residents and members of council to remember the goals in the OCP, and ask that they fight to keep the integrity of our neighbourhood. It is why we plan long term when we create OCPs, and why we investigate them when we purchase homes.
Council's very consideration of allowing a gravel pit within city limits goes against the reason OCPs exist in the first place.
It is a slippery slope - what could be next in your neighbourhood?
Jennifer Goodwin and Jeff Scott, Maple Ridge