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The North Lougheed Study Area (NLSA) is located on the north side of the Lougheed Highway between Meadows Gardens Golf Course and Harris Road. Development of the NLSA has been a topic of discussion with Pitt Meadows City Council since the mid-eighties. This area is currently a mix of agricultural land and commercial use.  

The North Lougheed Study Area (NLSA) is important for the City’s development in terms of homes, jobs, services and taxes and accommodating population growth over the next 30 years.

The aim of the NLSA planning process is to develop a new land use plan and associated policies to address the community’s needs and goals and adapt to potential changes in the real estate market.

The land use plan will guide creation of a cohesive mixed-used community development (including commercial, residential and light industrial uses) that complements farm and mountain vistas, and incorporates medium to high-density transit-oriented residential areas and green space.

Project Overview

How can developing the NLSA help our community thrive?

Developing the NLSA has many benefits to both Pitt Meadows and the farming community including:

  • Variety of housing options. There is potential to include mixed-use residential and other housing options.
  • Close to transit. There is an opportunity for housing, employment, a potential post-secondary educational campus, and recreational amenities—all within a five minute walking distance to transit which reduces traffic congestion.
  • Space for local businesses and jobs. Economic development will be enhanced with more space for viable local businesses and sustainable jobs.
  • Increased tax base. Property taxes will be spread among a greater range of land uses and allow for enhanced services and amenities for the community.
  • Agricultural benefits including improved safety. Traffic calming along Old Dewdney Trunk Road will make it safer for slower moving farm vehicles and machinery. It will also allow for the construction of the North Lougheed Connector (NLC) which will significantly alleviate traffic congestion on Old Dewdney Trunk Road.
  • Reduced congestion and improvements to traffic flow. Construction of the North Lougheed Connector (NLC), tied to other highway improvement projects, would reduce traffic congestion and improve traffic flow. The NLC will also provide a secondary corridor to north east Maple Ridge.
  • Improved north/south community connectivity. In addition to the NLC, a proposed pedestrian and cyclist overpass connecting with Harris Road Park will improve community access across Lougheed Highway.

Latest Status

Council endorsed the revised North Lougheed Study Area (NLSA) Land Use Plan and development policies that were drafted with input from extensive public and stakeholder engagement.

On July 7, staff returned to Council with a revised land use plan and accompanying development policies based on recommendations from Council on May 26.

Overview

In 2011 a comprehensive land use plan was prepared for the North Lougheed Study Area (NLSA) that built on decades of previous planning for the southern portion of the area. The 2011 plan identified a combination of mixed employment and retail commercial uses for the entire NLSA to cover the costs of building the proposed North Lougheed Connector (NLC).

commercial and industrial land study completed in 2019 for the City’s Official Community Plan (OCP) review, however, indicated that the market had changed significantly and that there was no longer a need for retail commercial space, primarily due to the introduction of online retail sales. This meant that the 2011 plan was no longer economically viable, and a revised comprehensive land use concept was required to meet community and regional needs.

In May 2019, City staff initiated a multi-phase technical review and public and stakeholder engagement process to develop a new land use concept that built on both the previous NLSA planning and more recent OCP review process.

Next Steps

The next steps for the City are:

  1. Apply to Metro Vancouver to amend the Regional Growth Strategy, Metro 2040, to incorporate the NLSA. This is required to incorporate the NLSA into the City’s regional urban containment boundary and urban centre boundary, and to change the regional land use designations for the area.
  2. Amend the City’s existing Official Community Plan (OCP) and Regional Context Statement to include the new NLSA land use plan, land use designations and development policies. A public hearing and engagement with the City’s Agricultural Advisory Committee will be required for this OCP amendment.
  3. Incorporate the NLSA plan, land use designations and policies into the final draft of the new OCP. A final round of public engagement for the new OCP is expected to be completed this fall.

Once the Regional Growth Strategy and Official Community Plan have been amended, the City will work with the community, stakeholders and external agencies to address Agricultural Land Commission exclusion conditions for the planning area.

The Agricultural Land Commission exclusions include the calming and redirection of traffic off Old Dewdney Truck road to the Lougheed Highway, which will benefit the farming community. Improvements to Lougheed Highway and connection to the North Lougheed Connector to reduce congestion and improve traffic flow for both Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows are also being discussed.

Project Milestones

Public Engagement

Over the years there have been many rounds of community engagement for the North Lougheed Study Area (NLSA) including a public hearing in 2012, before the City applied to the Agricultural Land Commission to exclude the balance of the study area from the Agricultural Land Reserve. Consultation will continue to happen at each phase of the project.

Phase 1: Summer 2019
Feedback was collected from the community and stakeholders both online and at several engagement pop-up events throughout the summer.

Phase 2: November 2019 to February 2020
Using the information and ideas received in Phase 1, four NLSA draft land use concepts were developed and shared with the public for input online and at engagement events.

In May 2020, a summary of public and stakeholder engagement was presented to Council along with the North Lougheed Study Area Land Use Plan, land use designations and policies.

Public consultation for the City’s new Official Community Plan (OCP) has been happening concurrently.

Frequently Asked Questions
What are the benefits of developing the NLSA?

Developing the NLSA has many benefits to both Pitt Meadows and the farming community including:

  • Variety of housing options. There is potential to include mixed-use residential and other housing options
  • Close to transit. There is an opportunity for housing, employment, a potential post-secondary educational campus, and recreational amenities—all within a five minute walking distance to transit which reduces traffic congestion.
  • Space for local businesses and jobs. Economic development will be enhanced with more space for viable local businesses and sustainable jobs.
  • Increased tax base. Property taxes will be spread among a greater range of land uses and allow for enhanced services and amenities for the community.
  • Agricultural benefits including improved safety. Traffic calming along Old Dewdney Trunk Road will make it safer for slower moving farm vehicles and machinery. It will also allow for the construction of the North Lougheed Connector (NLC) which will significantly alleviate traffic congestion on Old Dewdney Trunk Road.
  • Reduced congestion and improvements to traffic flow. Construction of the North Lougheed Connector (NLC), tied to other highway improvement projects, would reduce traffic congestion and improve traffic flow. The NLC will also provide a secondary corridor to north east Maple Ridge.
  • Improved north/south community connectivity. In addition to the NLC, a proposed pedestrian and cyclist overpass connecting with Harris Road Park will improve community access across Lougheed Highway.
What is the difference between this proposed draft land use concept and the previous one?

The previous concept was developed in 2011 and centered on retail-commercial and mixed employment. A recent commercial and industrial land study commissioned by the City indicated that the market has changed significantly and there is no longer a need for retail-commercial space primarily resulting from the introduction of the on-line retail sales market. Therefore, a revised land use concept is required to meet community and regional needs. The revised concept will be developed with input from technical studies, stakeholders and the public.

A number of comprehensive technical studies will be undertaken to ensure that the best-possible land use concept is created and the City is doing its due diligence. 

The City is committed to developing a well-thought out land use concept that is viable, responsible and addresses challenges facing our agricultural families and serves the entire community for generations to come.

What is the Project timeline?

2018-2020

  • Development of a land use plan informed by feedback from the public and other stakeholders.
    • Development of land use designations and policies.
  • Application by the City to update the Metro Vancouver Regional Growth Strategy.
  • Amendment the City’s existing Official Community Plan and Regional Context Statement to include the new NLSA land use plan, land use designations and development policies.
    This land use concept has been informed by feedback from the public and other stakeholders. With Council’s approval the City will then apply to Metro Vancouver to update the Regional Growth Strategy in 2020. This is a necessary step before the City can finalize all of the planning changes required to allow development to happen. During this process the City will also develop design guidelines and other development guidance tools to ensure development of the area is done to the highest standards and reflects the community’s values and vision for the area.

2020-2022

  • Incorporation of NLSA land use plan in land use designations and policies into the final draft of the City’s new OCP.
  • Adoption of new OCP.
  • Address Agricultural Land Commission exclusion conditions for the planning area.
  • Begin applications for construction of the North Lougheed Connector and development of the area.
How is the community being consulted?

Over the years there have been many rounds of community engagement for the North Lougheed Study Area (NLSA) including a public hearing in 2012, before the City applied to the Agricultural Land Commission to exclude the balance of the study area from the Agricultural Land Reserve. Consultation will continue to happen at each phase of the project.

Phase 1: Summer 2019
Feedback was collected from the community and stakeholders both online and at several engagement pop-up events throughout the summer.

Phase 2: November 2019 to February 2020
Using the information and ideas received in Phase 1, four NLSA draft land use concepts were developed and shared with the public for input online and at engagement events.

In May 2020, a summary of public and stakeholder engagement was presented to Council along with the North Lougheed Study Area Land Use Plan, land use designations and policies.

Public consultation for the City’s new Official Community Plan (OCP) has been happening concurrently.

When was the NLSA excluded from the ALR?

The Agricultural Land Commission (ALC) agreed to a variety of conditional exclusions from the Agricultural Land Reserve during previous Council terms between 1985 and 2004. In 2013, the City received conditional approval by the ALC for removal of the remaining northern portion of the NLSA.

During that time there have been several developments which have met the exclusion conditions including:

  • The Nissan dealership - built in 2003.
  • The Best Western- built in 1996.
  • The Fairways condos - built in 2007.
  • Construction of the Dorado neighbourhood - began in 2000.

Other nearby uses on the north side of Lougheed Highway have also included:

  • The veterinary hospital on the northeast corner of Lougheed and Harris Road in a building dating from at least the 1970’s. 
  • A gas station was on the northeast corner of Lougheed and Harris Road until about 2007. 
  • An existing gas station on the northwest corner of Lougheed and Harris Road dating from at least the 1970’s.
  • A go-cart track and waterslides northwest of the existing gas station on the corner of Lougheed and Harris Road existed between the early 1980s and 2003.
  • Meadows Golf Centre driving range and Meadow Gardens Golf Course both also date from at least the 1970’s and are grandfathered uses that are permitted in the ALR.

What is the North Lougheed Connector (NLC) and how will it be paid for?

The proposed 3.6-kilometre North Lougheed Connector (NLC) will provide a direct link from Abernathy Way to the Lougheed Highway, west of Harris Road. The NLC is intended to:

  • allow for traffic calming on Old Dewdney Trunk Road to make it safer for area residents and slower moving farm vehicles and machinery; and
  • provide a secondary corridor to northeast Maple Ridge.

Both in 2011 and today, the NLC was identified as a way to support agriculture in Pitt Meadows with funding for agricultural improvement projects.

The intention is for the entire project to be developer-funded with no cost to City taxpayers. The final cost will be dependent on the design, which has not yet been determined.

Staff are working with the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure to determine how the NLC will connect from Golden Ears Way to the Lougheed Highway west of Harris Road. This work will be tied to other highway improvement projects to improve traffic flow in the area

What type of development is being proposed for the area?

The NLSA land use plan includes a mix of housing options, employment areas, a potential post-secondary educational campus, enhanced habitat, recreational amenities, and improved north-south connectivity. 

The proposed housing areas are medium to high density areas, mostly within a five- minute walking distance to transit and existing business areas. Additionally, a proposed pedestrian and cyclist overpass connecting with Harris Road Park will improve community access across Lougheed Highway.

Are high rise towers proposed for the NLSA?

The City may consider buildings over six storeys in height in specific areas, provided they respond to concerns around privacy, views, shading, and surrounding land use sensitivities. Taller buildings will take advantage of prominent views of the surrounding landscape, while also reducing the per capita costs of infrastructure and services.

Building heights in the study area are limited to a maximum of 45.7m (150 feet) above the elevation of the Pitt Meadows Airport runway, due to federal flight path safety restrictions. Ground floors of the buildings must meet the City’s Floodplain Designation and Construction Control Bylaw elevation requirements. Together these regulations restrict the maximum heights of future development.

What is a scoping report?

A scoping report looks at the budget, timelines and outlines project scope in detail. It also ensures that staff adequately assesses the scale of a project and clearly defines project parameters. The project scope is approved by Council and provides staff direction to start work.

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