Steve Pettigrew was vocal, along with other Hawthorne Park opponents, during the City of Surrey’s public meeting at Riverdale elementary on Wednesday evening. (Trevor Beggs)

Steve Pettigrew was vocal, along with other Hawthorne Park opponents, during the City of Surrey’s public meeting at Riverdale elementary on Wednesday evening. (Trevor Beggs)

Opponents vocal as Surrey staff hold public meeting on Hawthorne Park project

City staff set up a gymnasium full of billboards and they listened to the public’s input

Following their decision to approve the Hawthorne Park project, the City of Surrey decided to host a public meeting at Riverdale elementary on Wednesday evening.

While members of the public partook in the meeting to see what the city had to offer, opponents were also out in full force.

One opponent had seen enough of what the city had to offer.

“Once you destroy the earth, there’s no putting it back,” said opponent Sharon Buzik.

What’s going on in there makes me sick to my stomach,” she said. “I had to leave, I couldn’t take much more.”

SEE ALSO: Is there a Plan B for Surrey’s Hawthorne Park?

With about ten staff members on hand, the city answered questions about a couple dozen billboards that were up in the school’s gymnasium.

“We’re here tonight to gather some input and show some information that we already received through our first Hawthorne Park master plan,” said City of Surrey parks manager, Neal Aven.

“Having the public’s input is important to us,” he said. “It’s vital to hear what they have to say, and they’ve given some good input tonight.”

SEE ALSO: Emotions high after Surrey approves controversial road through Hawthorne Park

While the city did their best to answer questions from the public, opponents of the project weren’t happy with the format the city chose to express their plans for the project.

“We wanted to have a town hall type meeting,” said opponent Grant Rice. “The fact that this is the way that the city has decided to go is pretty disappointing.”

Instead of having their voices heard by city councillors, opponents instead bantered with members of the city staff.

Not all of the reaction was negative, however.

Aven mentioned that he received ‘positive input’ on a couple of tweaks to the Hawthorne Park project, including relocation of the parking area along with upgrading and relocating the playground and water park.

There were about 50 people in the gymnasium at one time throughout the evening, with people trickling in and out of the school. Many of the opponents made sure to have their voices heard, and they were visible with ‘Save Hawthorne Park’ badges stuck to their chests.

One of those sporting a badge was vocal opponent Steve Pettigrew. He believes that not everything coming out of city hall regarding Hawthorne Park is completely honest.

“There is a blanket of misinformation,” he said. “It’s a real mess.”

Pettigrew mentions the city’s plans for how many trees they plan on cutting down, versus how many trees they plan to grow. He says that in the city’s reports, the only trees they mention cutting down are ones over 30 centimetres wide.

However, Pettigrew says when it comes to city mentioning new trees that they will plant, they don’t take size into account.

In Pettigrew’s mind, the public meeting put on by the City of Surrey on Wednesday night doesn’t make up for some of the fallacies of the project.

“It doesn’t change anything, I’m very much concerned,” he said. “They’re gonna start knocking down trees in a month, but they haven’t finished all of the preparation.”

“They haven’t worked things out with Hjorth (Road) Elementary. There are also three properties in Hawthorne Park that haven’t been acquired yet.”

“Funding also hasn’t been taken care of. And, they haven’t finished their environmental report.”

“In spite of they, they still want to start building this road in the second week of January.”

It has been a long, hard fight for Pettigrew and many others, and their frustration was evident tonight.

“We have a lot of people involved of this,” said Pettigrew. “In spite of all of that, it doesn’t matter. What’s going on tonight doesn’t change anything.”



trevor.beggs@surreynowleader.com

Like us on Facebook and follow Trevor on Twitter

Hawthorne ParkSurrey Archives

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

An Amica White Rock resident receives the COVID-19 vaccine during a Jan. 15, 2021 clinic. (Tracy Holmes photo)
PHOTOS: South Surrey seniors grateful for ‘freedom’ of COVID-19 vaccine

Vaccination clinics at Fraser Health long-term and assisted-living sites were to wrap up Jan. 15

Surrey Council Chambers. (File photo)
Surrey city councillors complain not enough public input in committees

City has gone ‘exactly the opposite direction,’ Councillor Brenda Locke charges

A Transit Police officer and another driver were injured on Nov. 4 in a traffic crash while the officer was responding to another officers call for help catching a man who escaped custody. (Photo: Shane MacKichan)
Police watchdog investigating Surrey crash that injured transit cop, another driver

Crash happened 11 p.m. Nov. 4, at 128th Street and 93rd Avenue in Cedar Hills

Friends and family of murder victim Paul Prestbakmo wore memorial masks outside Surrey Provincial Court Jan. 14, 2021. (From left) Family friend Tyler Whitley, sister Angela Prestbakmo, childhood friend Jimmy Slater, brother Steve Prestbakmo, Semiahmoo First Nation councillor Roxanne Charles and sister Liz Prestbakmo. (Tracy Holmes photo)
Two accused in 2019 South Surrey murder were ‘really angry,’ pacing at party: witness

‘We had this really strong gut feeling that something was really wrong’

Semiahmoo Rock
Record-setting 10 Semiahmoo Rock players selected in B.C. junior lacrosse draft

Kaleb Borg is the highest Rock player selected, going in the second round to the Coquitlam Adanacs

Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry head for the press theatre at the B.C. legislature for an update on COVID-19, Jan. 7, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 spread steady with 509 new cases Friday

Hospitalized and critical care cases decline, nine deaths

Seasonal influenza vaccine is administered starting each fall in B.C. and around the world. (Langley Advance Times)
After 30,000 tests, influenza virually nowhere to be found in B.C.

COVID-19 precautions have eliminated seasonal infection

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau listens to a question during a news conference outside Rideau cottage in Ottawa, Friday, January 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau says Canada’s COVID vaccine plan on track despite Pfizer cutting back deliveries

Canadian officials say country will still likely receive four million doses by the end of March

JaHyung Lee, “Canada’s oldest senior” at 110 years old, received his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine on Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021. He lives at Amenida Seniors Community in Newton. (Submitted photo: Amenida Seniors Community)
Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Jobs Minister Ravi Kahlon shared a handwritten note his son received on Jan. 13, 2021. (Ravi Kahlon/Twitter)
Proud dad moment: B.C. minister’s son, 10, receives handwritten note for act of kindness

North Delta MLA took to Twitter to share a letter his son received from a new kid at school

Lilly and Poppy, two cats owned by Kalmar Cat Hotel ownder Donna Goodenough, both have cerebellAr hypoplasia, a genetic neurological condition that affects their ability to control their muscles and bones. Photo by Alistair Taylor – Campbell River Mirror
VIDEO: Wobbly Cats a riot of flailing legs and paws but bundles of love and joy to their owner

Woman urges others to not fear adopting cats with disabilities

Chief public health officer Dr. Theresa Tam provides an update on the COVID-19 pandemic in Ottawa on Friday, Jan. 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada’s top doctor says to avoid non-essential travel as B.C. explores legal options

Premier John Horgan says he is seeking legal advice on whether it can limit interprovincial travel

Martin Luther King Jr. addresses the crowd during the march on Washington, D.C., in August of 1963. Courtesy photo
Government reinforces importance of anti-racism act on Black Shirt Day

B.C. Ministers say education “a powerful tool” in the fight for equity and equality

Most Read