It may be possible to acquire land for community purposes with no increase in taxes. There is a 77 acre (+/-) parcel which stretches from Belwood Road to Bartholomew Road, which may be available for as little as $300,000.00. Currently zoned Forestry One, if rezoned a higher density and more intense use, it would be worth a great deal more. If the increase in the value of the property was designated for community purposes, then not only would there be the land available for community use, but also a valuable asset on the books.
Here’s a quote from the “Western Investor” magazine:
“Maple Ridge is also catching the attention of the high-tech community...this includes a lot of small companies that are virtual, agile and mobile. A lot of them are flexible but they want a hub where they can connect with other people with similar ideas.”
This “creative class” likes being involved in sports and being active but wants a small-town feel with a strong centre, she explained, and Maple Ridge stands primed to be that hub. Land prices are among the lowest in the region, with an acre of serviced industrial, starting at $600,000, about half the price of Burnaby or Coquitlam”
A Community Contribution Company or a Non-profit Corporation could be formed to raise the initial capital buy the property, and with community support, rezone it to a site specific zone that would enable the land to be used for a variety of housing types, including housing that qualifies for low-income subsidized housing, and market housing tailored for our local needs, for example, space for tiny houses. The land could also be used for a variety of industrial and educational purposes. For example, it could be a space for a variety of workshops. A community water system and a community waste water disposal system could be built.
The land for most of the uses could be leased, not sold, so most of the development would remain in community hands. There would be an ongoing cash flow from rents and leases. The exceptions would be for community projects where funding requires ownership of the land, or the outright sale of some sites to raise cash. When subdivision becomes necessary, it can be done as a phased bare land strata subdivision. In a bare land strata, there are no roads but rather access routes, so no mandated road development needs to take place. The majority of the land can remain common property, with only the property needed for the building site actually subdivided. Separate parts of the common property can be designated for the exclusive use of one lot, providing a wide array of solutions.
As an example of a low cost flex space, I’ve drawn plans for a 32” x 32” studio, with full bath, and a kitchen sink. It could be used to live in, and could be improved if that was the use. It can be built for less than $50,000, and could be built almost entirely with wood from Cortes if the prices are in line. Amortized over 30 years at 5.25%, monthly payment would be $276.00.
It could be rented for much more than that.