Aldergrove needs more middle income residents with disposable money to spend at businesses in town, says one of its residents.
In a delegation to council on April 23, Dianne Kask presented several ideas for the revitalization of Downtown Aldergrove, and reminded council about the vision outlined in the 2010 Aldergrove Core Plan.
The core plan outlines several initiatives, including building the new Aldergrove Credit Union Community Centre, widening Fraser Highway from 269 to 271 Streets and improving sidewalks on 272 Street from 28 to 29 Avenues.
Kask believes development needs to be chosen wisely, and should include a percentage of low income and senior’s housing.
“But to be sure development is well-maintained, and businesses can be supported, there needs to be residents with disposable incomes to maintain properties,” she said.
“Aldergrove already has a large amount of lower income housing, and we need more middle income housing mixed with senior’s housing and adequate family rental housing as stated in the Age Friendly Plan.”
Kask would also like to see new development that caters to children, with spacious playgrounds in natural settings. She cites Olympic Village in Vancouver as an example, where a beaver lodge has been preserved beside a playground.
“Notice how there’s a beaver lodge, and there’s high rises. I know Aldergrove probably won’t be having high rises soon, but the idea here is that we are wanting to enhance Bertrand Creek, and that is in the (Aldergrove) Core Plan. And so we can have natural settings alongside with high rises and/or five-storey buildings,” she said.
Kask, who is one of the founding directors of the Aldergrove Community Association, said there is also a wish among Aldergrove residents to integrate more heritage designs in the community, similar to Fort Langley.
“With new development happening, this would be the time to develop that style,” she said.
Coun. David Davis asked Kask if there is more that can be done to incorporate some of these ideas at the Aldergrove Credit Union Community Centre, which is scheduled to open in June.
Kask said she would like to see more trees within the outdoor swimming pool area to provide shade during hot summer days, and to plant landscaping in front of unsightly buildings nearby.
She also said she’d like to see wider sidewalks throughout the downtown core, as right now it is difficult to walk side-by-side next to someone.
Coun. Blair Whitmarsh asked what kinds of development would encourage middle income people to come to Aldergrove.
Kask said making the downtown area more attractive would be a good start.
“It’s interesting because we talk a lot, of course, around the topic of affordable housing, and this is a move to talk about middle income housing, so it’s a bit of a different strategy,” Whitmarsh commented.