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Thursday, November 22, 2012 The Whonnock Weavers and Spinners Guild hold its fall show and sale this Sunday. Page A16 • LOCAL NEWS, SPORTS, WEATHER AND ENTERTAINMENT • • 604-463-2281 • 40 PAGES Ready… aim… Franco Longo, 3D director with the Maple Ridge Archery Club, took aim at a target in his backdoor range. Longo is promoting this Sunday’s Turkey Shoot event, hosted by the local club at the Maple Ridge Fairgrounds. All shooters are welcome, with their own equipment, however, no binoculars or rangefinders are allowed. Start time is 9 a.m. See story on page A31. Troy Landreville/TIMES Bylaws Vacant lots, land speculators vex council The District of Maple Ridge is tackling a series of downtown issues from several fronts. by Maria Rantanen Unsecured buildings and vacant properties in Maple Ridge are concerning council, prompting bylaws and further investigation into encouraging development and discourage land speculation. At a recent council meeting, Maple Ridge Mayor Ernie Daykin said he was “disappointed” development wouldn’t be taking place at the former Northumberland Court for the foreseeable future. The former townhouse complex, notorious as a magnet for criminal activity, was shut down and demolished, and a new townhouse complex plan was given first reading by council two years ago. But, nothing has been heard from the developer since August 2011, so District staff recommended the file be closed. In the meantime, Maple Ridge council is tackling vacant buildings with increased fees for inspections. But Councillor Cheryl Ashlie also wants to see if there is anything more that can be done to discourage absentee landowners. She put forward a notice of motion at last week’s council meeting asking staff to review “all available strategies” or to “design progressive strategies” sitting idle, Ashlie said she still to help the District encourwants the questions to be asked. age “timely and appropriate” The town core incentive prodevelopment in the downtown gram provides a “carrot.” But area and in the Albion maybe, she said, Flats. there’s a need for a In her rationale, she “stick,” adding quick said that Maple Ridge clarification that she could become a target meant that in “the of investment that is most inviting way.” only use to “broaden Ashlie said she an investment porthopes that the District folio,” tying up key real can find ways to estate. “incent people to not Ashlie would like just sit idle,” and to to know if there are make holding land as more “tools” out there an investment “the Cheryl Ashlie that would encourage least desirable endMaple Ridge councillor development in Maple point.” Ridge. “If we can’t do anyWhile the answer that comes thing, I want to know we can’t back from staff might be that do anything,” Ashlie said. council is “very limited” in what Referring to the they can do to discourage lands Northumberland Court lot on Fraser Street, Ashlie pointed out that the District still has “a hole in an area that needs to be revitalized.” The vacant and abandoned building bylaw that council dealt with this week at their committee meeting would require property owners of vacant buildings to ensure they are secured so no one can get in. If an inspector finds a building isn’t secure, the owner can be required to put up window barriers, install fencing, and post a security guard. Re-inspection fees can be imposed if the building is later found later to still be unsecured, and those fees could rise incrementally up to $2,400. The vacant/abandoned building bylaw will come to Maple Ridge council on Nov. 27. Don’t miss important information from the City of Pitt Meadows on pages A4 & A6 Your BEST Mortgage is One Call Away 604-466-1976 Donna Telep 22718 Lougheed Hwy. Maple Ridge Fax: 604-466-5348 • Email: Online, all the time... WINTER WONDERLAND RETURNS DECEMBER 24TH & 26TH PRESENTED BY ENVISION FINANCIAL MEDIA SPONSOR CHECK OUR WEBSITE FOR MORE INFO Pitt Meadows ARENA COMPLEX 11435 BONSON ROAD, PITT MEADOWS 604.460.1531 Get up to $ 10,000 CASH BACK JUST ASK US HOW O.A.C. WHEN YOU BUY YOUR NEXT CAR AT

Maple Ridge Times November 22 2012

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