THE NEWS/files The camp continues at St. Anne Avenue and 223rd Street in downtown Maple Ridge.

Delay granted for Maple Ridge on tent city

Maple Ridge wants to remove Anita Place Tent City in downtown

The City of Maple Ridge and lawyers for the Anita Place Tent City will finally face off June 27 and 28 in Vancouver Supreme Court.

The two days have been set aside after two previous appearances between the city, which wants a court order to clear the camp, and lawyers for the camp, which want it to remain until a temporary and permanent shelter and supportive housing facility is provided.

The court granted Maple Ridge’s request for another delay Tuesday, following a previous delay given to those who run the tent city, which sprang up in early May at the corner of 223rd Street and St. Anne Avenue.

The camp is on a 0.8-acre, triangle-piece of property the city wants to turn into a neighbourhood park. The city had an open house on the park proposal on May 4.

The delay comes with an agreement that will ease conditions at the camp, where about 40 people are now living.

“It looks like they’re agreeing to Porta-potties and garbage pickup,” said Ivan Drury, one of the camp’s organizers.

The camp has been without bathrooms for weeks after the portable toilets were removed from the site. That resulted in residents having to dig their own latrine at the camp.

Lawyers for the camp filed about 40 affidavits Friday, half from residents of the tent city saying they feel safe and secure living there, and the other half from surrounding neighbours and experts supporting the camp.

Drury said earlier that he’d like a new $15-million supportive housing and emergency homeless shelter to be located on the property. But, he added later, he’s not fixed on that particular location.

Newly elected MLAs Bob D’Eith and Lisa Beare were to have met on Monday with the citizen’s committee that tried to find a location for a new supportive housing complex. A location has yet to be found.

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