Ocean Park is not a village.
When I think of villages, I think of quaint little spots that are rife with character and possess a slowed-down pace of life.
Development is minimal and traffic is either not permitted or is calmed through street design.
None of this applies to Ocean Park, at least not on 128 Street.
Over the years, it has seen a constant state of development. Within four blocks, well over hundred homes have been built in the last five years alone, and more are slated to come.
The sounds of chainsaws, dump trucks and hammers permeate the neighbourhood so that clone houses and monster mansions can assume their position.
These homes take time to create, as they are crafted for an average family of four who wants separate apartment-sized rooms for each other.
Perfectly good – even recently renovated – homes are torn down.
When I see a for-sale sign, I can almost guarantee a big, green City of Surrey Development Proposal sign will follow.
This is a street where the speed limit of 50 km/h is just a suggestion and enforcement is virtually unheard of.
The one time I did see police do a speed trap was over two years ago, when city crews were redoing the sidewalk.
The impact of speeders on their lives is more important I guess.
Traffic calming was discussed but, if I remember correctly, there was some backlash from local businesses.
I’m wondering how many of them live on this street.
I guess when I hear the early morning or late night traffic, it isn’t their staff or patrons speeding along; I’m sure they are all good drivers.
As of this week, parents will be shuttling kids to school because most of them are unable to walk. That alone changes the so-called ‘village atmosphere.’
If I bought a house next to train tracks, I wouldn’t complain; they were there long before I was. If I bought in a seaside town, I wouldn’t complain about seagulls; they were there long before I was. If I bought near an airport, I wouldn’t complain; it was there long before I was.
But all this was not here before I was.
I’m not against some development, and I accept this street helps people get from point A to point B.
But I need a rest, and I know I’m not alone in that thinking.
Like many of you, I like my home. I would like it more if we could live in it for a while without the sights, sounds and smells of a community bursting at the seams.
Ocean Park is not a village anymore.
J. Chandler Zehner, Surrey