A revitalized Cloverdale Community Association is asking the City of Surrey to slow down the pace of residential development in the area so the addition of infrastructure and services like new schools, pools and parks can catch up.
President Ken Krasnikoff says a speedier timeline for building a public pool and new skating arena in the historic town centre ranks even higher on the list of the group’s priorities.
And the list of concerns doesn’t stop there, according to Krasnikoff, who says the 35-year-old association is back on its feet and ready to tackle issues that are important to Cloverdale residents, thanks to a successful renewal drive that began about a year ago.
An executive is in place, meetings are held once a month (except in July and August), and members are exercising their collective voice to City Hall.
Krasnikoff has been a member of the association since the mid-1980s, when the group gathered 5,000 signatures on a petition calling on the city to build a bigger swimming pool.
Cloverdale residents are still waiting for that pool, even as the population has doubled over the past decade.
With a projected population boom in Cloverdale over the next 10 to 15 years as a result of anticipated residential development, the association fears the current and future needs of residents have been placed on the back burner while projects in other parts of Surrey are further ahead in the capital projects queue.
“We’re not against development,” Krasnikoff hastens to add. “We just want it a little bit slower. Orderly.”
Vice president Mike Bola is among the new members who signed on over the past year.
A married father of three young children, Bola says his family moved out of Clayton because it was getting too crowded, particularly when it comes to street parking.
Adding to Cloverdale’s existing recreation facilities is important for families like the Bolas, where both parents work outside the home, making scheduling their children’s extra curricular swimming and hockey activities, in part due to the extra driving time involved getting to facilities in other parts of the city, or even Langley.
Bola points out in the past 10 years, Cloverdale’s annual growth rate has been an average of eight per cent, and in just eight years (by 2021) is projected to reach 85,000, making it the fourth largest town centre, after Newton, City Centre, and South Surrey.
“It’s going to be 85,000 sooner than later,” says Krasnikoff, who adds it’s time to step up planning for those future recreational and infrastructure needs.
The association recently asked the city to approve a FINA-certified, 50-metre pool, and three, arena-sized hockey sheets with proper seating in the Cloverdale town centre. The current arena, Bola says, doesn’t meet existing needs.
“We are getting left behind,” Bola says.
Cloverdale will be the site of a new $1.1 million, covered skateboard park, complete with basketball courts and other amenities. But to Bola, that’s “just a small piece of the pie.”
The association would also like the city to keep growth under control and work with residents and neighbourhoods to manage that growth, whether it’s adding parks, widening streets or lobbying for new schools.
Bola notes provincial funding for new schools is approved only once the homes are built.
“It’s a backwards philosophy,” Bola says.
The association also recently asked City Hall when Cloverdale’s Mound Farm Park will be developed, and this fall will make a presentation to the city’s transportation committee asking that 64 Avenue be widened between 177 Street and 196 Street.
The association has also voiced objections to small urban lots with carriage homes, containing legal and illegal suites.
Keep an eye out for new brochures. The also group recently launched a website. For more information, visit www.cloverdalecommunity.org.