Proponents behind a truck-park facility eyed for South Surrey land at 194 Street and 16 Avenue are now considering “other uses than industrial” for the site.
Patrick Giesbrecht, representing truck-park proponents GG Metro, confirmed this week that the decision followed feedback from the community, and that discussions are ongoing with representatives of area environmental groups that had also raised concerns with the application.
“We… have entered into discussions to hear what they think their members would be more agreeable to in terms of land use,” Giesbrecht said Monday.
“Those discussions are ongoing and no conclusions have been reached at this point.”
Plans for a truck park on 77 acres abutting the Little Campbell River were shared a year ago, when council endorsed the preparation of a Local Area Plan for the area south of 16 Avenue near 192 Street, and Coun. Tom Gill made a surprise request to push the truck-park application forward ahead of the LAP.
Gill said at the time that a need for truck parking throughout the city drove his request.
Members of environmental groups that watch over the fish-rich Little Campbell were highly critical of the plan, and cited concerns that pollutants from such a facility would threaten both the river and the Brookswood aquifer.
Other concerns included the impact to traffic along the already-busy 16 Avenue, and food security.
Giesbrecht said that in addition to wanting to engage with the community groups “to have a conversation about alternative uses for the property” – they met with group leaders over the summer – GG Metro has now also agreed to be involved in the LAP planning exercise.
Semiahmoo Fish & Game Club spokesman Ron Meadley described that step as “good news.”
“I think that’s the best way for anybody to go,” he said.
“From our point of view, we’re happy, then everybody will have a part to play.”
Meadley said protection of the river and aquifer is critical in any development on the property.
“Technically, it could be anything as long as… that’s totally protected.”
While a truck park is not yet off the table – there is still an active rezoning application for the properties and Giesbrecht said GG Metro engineers are convinced one could be safely built – Giesbrecht said “it’s clear that the community doesn’t want the site there and GG Metro is interested in working with the community in finding a (different) use for the property.”
Suggestions for the land may be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org