Petition Against Proposed Pitt Meadows Detachment Gathers Over 400 Signatures – Maple Ridge News

A petition launched in early September opposing the park zoning change at Harris Rd. Park and the proposed RCMP detachment for Pitt Meadows have received growing support.

Petitioner Darlene Mercer, who started this signature campaign, has now collected over 400 signatures and plans to submit this “first batch” of signatures to the city next week.

The petition titled “Petition Against Removal of Parkland and Formation of New RCMP Detachment”, launched by Mercer, a resident of Pitt Meadows, follows on from council’s proposed plan to dezone 2,300 square meters of parkland in north of Pitt Meadows Heritage Hall, to be used as the site of a new police detachment. Mercer is against both, the new detachment, as well as the rezoning of the park.

READ ALSO : Petition launched to stop proposed Pitt Meadows RCMP detachment

“There are very strong reactions from the public both on the withdrawal of cherished park lands as well as the enormous debt the City is determined to impose on its taxpayers for something we do not have.” need and that there are even alternatives suggested by the consultants for, ”said Mercer.

She maintains that the process followed by the City to reach the decision to rezone the detachment was not democratic.

The city used another approval process in early 2021, to dezone 2,300 square meters of parkland at the site currently occupied by the Pitt Meadows Art Gallery and Storage Building. Under the alternative approval process, the proposal would have failed if 10 percent, or 1,431 of the city’s 14,311 eligible voters, had opposed the zoning change. However, the city received only 202 valid response forms.

“Almost all of the residents I speak to about this issue and the associated issue of disintegration believe that the use of AAP [alternate approval process] for the removal of land from the park was and is a clearly undemocratic process. Almost 100 percent of the people I talk to door-to-door were completely unaware of the details of the process, including that it was going on, and how that process worked, ”said Mercer.

“If you didn’t know or if you didn’t register a ‘No’ vote, you officially voted ‘Yes’ on the proposal. This was in fact not an endorsement of the Council’s wish to remove the land from the park, but an absence of knowledge resulting in a type of ‘default’ vote which, under any normal democratic process, would have been ‘votes’. voids, ”she said.

Mercer will host a signature campaign at Harris Rd. Park on Saturday, depending on the weather, and said that while she would submit a partial submission to the city after that, she would also continue to collect more signatures and raise awareness of the issue. .

“Our dedicated volunteers continue to collect signatures and organize signature events, and we hope to have“ satellite ”resident homes in the near future with a copy of the signature form outside my home and a petition available at the home. ‘outside,’ she said.

READ ALSO : ‘Decision has been made,’ says Mayor Dingwall in response to petition opposing new RCMP detachment

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