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LETTERS: Further study on Surrey council’s part would clarify benefits of Harmony development

Clearer understanding would surely shift council’s position, write Colleen and Geoff Dean

Editor:

Re: ‘Positive advocacy’ campaign aims to clarify inclusive-housing project, May 6

We were disappointed to learn of the “broad range of concerns” raised by Surrey Mayor McCallum and some members of council in response to the Harmony affordable housing project proposal presented by UNITI.

Council would benefit from additional study and investigation into the work already completed by the Harmony development team.

The purpose of Harmony is to provide affordable housing for those working and living in the South Surrey area, such as young families, retirees, those with disabilities able to live on their own, and others. This is where they shop, work, go to school, have access to public transportation, and serve the area. Mayor McCallum’s unfortunate misunderstanding of the project is evident when he refers to “affordable housing and homeless shelters” as synonymous.

The Harmony development team has worked with Friends of the Semiahmoo Trail and are working to improve the trail in many ways. The development would be an advantage rather than a detriment to this beautiful trail.

The concern about “increased density” is ironic, given the approved increased density on both sides of 16 Avenue between 154 and 160 Streets. On the north side of 16th, there is a development proposal for a six-storey complex with 144 additional parking spaces, and at 160 Street and 16 Avenue is a development proposal for a four-storey complex with first-floor business space and three storeys of residential space.

Both of these projects, which will bring significantly increased traffic and density, are adjacent to single-family homes, Alderwood townhomes and Alderwood Park, and Earl Marriott Secondary, and will strain the narrow neighbourhood streets in this area. On the other hand, Harmony’s location in the 15100-block of 20 Avenue is already set up for good traffic flow and access to well-developed roads.

Further study into the purpose and the advantages of the Harmony affordable housing project in its proposed location will, we’re sure, shift council’s views from “concerns” to a hearty approval.

Colleen and Geoff Dean, Surrey

City of SurreydevelopmentLetter to the Editor

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