Category: Action Plans

Answers to Questions from ARMS (Alouette River Management Society)

2018 Candidate Questions

  • As a candidate, how familiar are you with the OCP? Please give an example of your knowledge, or what you have done to familiarize yourself with the plan.

I’ve attended committee meetings on OCP, sat in on council presentations, was part of a neighbourhood delegation to voice our opinion on the urban boundary and residential development.   Participated in development of the Silver Valley Area Plan.

  • What is your position on the Natural Features section relating to water course protection?

It’s very good but many things are left open for interpretation and we need to understand the spirit of these recommendations when enforcing guidelines in developments.

  • Do you believe in implementing policies that would enhance the inclusion of “green infrastructure” within the planning process for existing and new area plans?

Yes, absolutely.  Everything from drainage management, waste management, tree by-law, to how we design our neighborhood to reflect nature,  to using renewable energy, to cycling, to electric vehicle charge stations. And the list goes on and on.

  • What is your position on the 30 metre setback relating to fish bearing streamside protection?

I would not allow any less.  We should also find ways to acquire some grand fathered properties to create a continuous green space along the rivers for public use.

  • What is your knowledge of “wildlife movement corridors?” Do you support them? Please explain your answer.

Most home owners are fencing off their property for privacy and security, but because we are developing in wildlife habitat, our structures are creating barriers and cutting off wildlife’s natural movement to food.  Planning our development with nature corridors whenever possible allow wildlife to get around the fences we put up allows them to get out of our urban trap.

  • What is your position on development within the North and South Alouette River floodplain? Please explain your answer.    

There is a reason why it’s called “floodplain”: it’s at risk of flooding.  I do not support allowing someone doing something risky and then come back to blame us.

  • Are you aware of the activities of Alouette River Management Society, over and above what is reported on our website? If so, how are you aware?

No, except for the learning partnership with the scouts.   Advocating for fish ladder.

  • Do you believe environmental organizations, such as ARMS, have a role to play in council’s decisions relating to development applications within the Alouette River Watershed? If yes, what role do they play? If no, please explain your position.

Absolutely, such as pointing out risk of development on floodplain, warning about the impact of storm drains in to the Alouette, warnings of hillside development, failing to contain silt and the effect it has on salmon, and so much more.

  • ARMS is provided an annual grant of $20,000 from the City of Maple Ridge to support the work that we do within the Alouette River watershed.  We also oversee the Adopt-a-Block program on behalf of the city and are allocated an annual budge of $25,000 to do that work. Do you believe environmental organizations, such as ARMS, should continue to be funded for work of this nature? Please explain your answer.

Yes. What ARMS is doing with the amount given is a miracle.

  • Are you aware of the Heritage River status of the Alouette River, if so, what does it mean to you?

I believe it gives greater protection when it come to development close to the river.

  • Have you ever seen the salmon run in the Alouette River and what should be done to protect it?

Yes, I have. We have to make sure developments must contain all run-off to prevent sand and silt covering Salmon spawning habitat.  To make sure spawning fish can travel without any barriers such as a dam.

  • What have you personally done to protect the environment?
  1. Drive electrical vehicles.
  2. Ride Bicycles.
  3. Buy local produce. 
  4. Plant vegetable gardens to replace grass in the yard.
  5. Minimize the use of heating and cooling energy by using maximum insulation.
  6. Compost and recycle and avoid products with extra packaging.
  7. Top efficiency electrical apparatus (LED bulbs, Energy Star..)
  8. Teach kids and others.
  9. Ran as a candidate for the Green Party to bring environment and climate change issues to mainstream politics. 

Platform

Vision:
A destination
for Ecotourism
and the hub of
Innovative Technologies
.

Maple Ridge has been struggling with commercial tax revenue, which creates a burden on the residential taxpayers and deprives residents of amenities and services. I will focus on providing leadership in developing innovative strategies that take advantage of our unique resources and geographic location. It is important to plan infrastructure to support both the creative and high-tech industries, as well as to propose strategies as a catalyst for expanding our Ecotourism and farming industries. At the same time, we need to tackle the tough challenge of cleaning up and revitalizing our downtown core, and once again make it safe and a good place to do business.  

We need to work with local business, not against them, in planning our land use with a clear vision that Maple Ridge is the destination for Ecotourism and the hub of Innovative Technologies

Economic development to improve commercial tax revenue and create local jobs

A majority of Maple Ridge’s revenue is from residential tax. Increasing commercial tax is going to require unique strategies that embrace our resources and geographic location.

  • Creating a welcoming environment for mid- to large scale resort lodging, investing in infrastructure, and encouraging eco-friendly hospitality development will generate long-term revenue in hospitality, entertainment, culinary and maintenance support service jobs. One innovative idea could be a tiny house hotel and resort, located adjacent to rivers and forest for outdoor activities.
  • A Technology Innovation Education Centre that is a collaborative venture of industry and education. The three-way partnership will provide a place where post-secondary students and industry can engage in practicum work in research and development, start-up program, where the city will facilitate the location, infrastructure and amenities.
  • Developing Maple Ridge into a new unique tourism destination, offering a variety of family activities by developing multi-use trails, linking our beautiful natural environment with various small urban villages with artisan shops, cafés and restaurants. Further tourist destination activities can be developed along these routes to strengthen economic viability.
  • Enhancing the village atmosphere to attract day-trip tourist, take advantage of our proximity to the largest metropolitan on the Canadian west coast. Maple Ridge will become a family outdoor activity destination where visitors can find restaurant, café and boutique shops at hubs between multi-use trails thru forest and riverside.

City planning that encompasses transit, livability and affordable housing

  • Mixed residential, retail and office space development will stimulate local economic activity, and create a more vibrant downtown. This type of development will generate good paying jobs and attract the tech and creative sector. Creating urban villages will further improve livability in other parts of town. These urban villages are to be connected by multi mode paths, providing a viable frame work for alternate modes of transportation.
  • Create a downtown revenue generating car-free weekend zones encouraging restaurant and shops to extend their space, creating centralized space for live music and performance. Allowing the use of large umbrellas and canopies to extend it for all seasons.
  • Co-op housing, Tiny homes, investment partnerships. Look at existing funding models, work to connect non-profit and federal government,
  • Enable approval for smaller unit size, reduce size but high functioning living quarters for single and double occupancy

Increase opportunities for seniors, youth and families for community engagement

(to be announced)

Implement waste management strategies that are sustainable and cost-effective

We need a holistic view of Waste Management. An all-encompassing strategy on composting, recycling, bio-waste, e-waste, local jobs, wildlife, and education. It is logical that cost is reduced when a process is innovative, simplified and efficient, which cannot be achieved individually or by piecemeal. It will require pragmatic planning and sound strategies. Managing Waste is key to our sustainability

Innovative farmland use and food security

As property values increase, the question arises on whether farmland should be reserved for farming or utilized for other purposes. 

Food security is directly affected by climate change, reserving land for food production should be  a high priority.   The current state of the ALR has made it a challenge for farmers to create or maintain a viable farming enterprise, due to the overall cost, but especially due to land cost. 

We cannot afford to remove more land from the Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR) and re-zone it for more million-dollar homes, this only drives up land prices when less are available.

The Foodlands Trust Project is a proven solution to consider. FarmFolk CityFolk has partnered with the UBC Centre for Sustainable Food Systems to create the Foodlands Trust Project, an entity that will acquire and hold land and offer long-term tenure for community groups to manage the land for farming and foraging. The Foodlands Trust Project complements the ALR by facilitating affordable access to Foodlands. Placing land in trust essentially removes it from the private market and ensures use for farming and food activities. It addresses rising land values, non-farm uses, and speculation driven by market dynamics.  This is not a new idea.  Several decades ago the ALC (Agricultural Land Commission) owned farmland and leased it to farmers on 20-year leases.

We can create incentives for the growing Ag-Tech startups market.  Economists are seeing Ag-Tech as the early days of the internet. From irrigation hardware engineered to beat the drought to biotechnology startups cultivating future cash crops, we have multiple startups here in the lower mainland looking for innovative ways to develop their technology.  About $400 million in financing has already been invested. Those investments come from the likes of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Kholsa Ventures, GV (formerly Google Ventures), Monsanto Ventures and Andreessen Horowitz, as well as in-house venture capital arms like Campbell Soup’s Acre Ventures.

We need to encourage innovative ideas such as ALR Country Market, farm stands, with restaurants and cafes in a village setting, with unique features like Goats on the Roof in Coombs, BC.


Please donate to support Peter for Maple Ridge council to put forward the action needed for our city, a place where we live, work and play.


👋

Categories: Action Plans