LETTERS: Sidelined in Surrey
Re: Residents preserve beauty, July 17 column.
Columnist Frank Bucholtz makes some excellent observations regarding how Surrey “developers push staff and council to squeeze the highest density possible out of properties, no matter how it changes the character of the area.”
An example in our neighbourhood is the plan to remove all three of the iconic trees on the south side of 31 Avenue just to the east of Croydon Drive. This is partially to facilitate the construction of a 500-unit mini-storage complex but mostly to facilitate an expansive parking lot.
There is no effort on the part of the developer, city staff or the Mayor Dianne Watts-led sheep on council to amend the plans to save even one of these trees.
Going forward, I don’t expect any change in the business model of council under the leadership of hand-picked Linda Hepner to replace Watts – you can almost see the puppet strings.
More than half of our neighbours signed a petition – including a number of police officers – outlining concerns over crime, noise and traffic, with no effect on the outcome. We even suggested the city establish a public walkway under the hydro lines to eventually allow residents to walk to Morgan Crossing; this was also ignored. They would rather have people take their chances on the narrow unimproved shoulders of Croydon Drive, where traffic is increasing in volume and speed.
No one knows how long it took for these three trees to grow, but their impact on the environment and the quality of life in this corner of Surrey will never be replaced by any pitiful tree-planting program – or “little more than hush money,” as described by Bucholtz – paid to the city.
Wayne Mercer, Surrey