I would like to echo the opinions of many Ocean Park, Surrey and White Rock residents who have taken the time to voice their concerns about endless development.
I was particularly inspired by letter-writer Caroline McCue-Davies, who wrote “Surrey’s tree bylaw has failed Ocean Park residents” (Neighbours feel helpless, May 8 letters).
We are kidding ourselves if we believe for one moment that the City of Surrey has an interest in protecting neighbourhoods from chainsaw-happy developers. The joke is further realized when on the same day 80-year-old trees are levelled, you see City of Surrey crews lining our streets with new leafy trees.
On their own website, the city boasts about a Biodiversity Conservation Strategy that is intended to “preserve, protect and enhance Surrey’s biodiversity in the long term.”
Throughout this 130-page document they use a lot of text to tell us what we already know about the benefits of preserving nature and existing habitats.
I had to laugh when I read “raising public awareness of the value of these smaller habitats will encourage the protection of nature in backyards and other developed areas.”
Imagine how surprised I was to learn they want to “work with landholders and developers to enhance natural habitat on private land.” Really? We are in a constant state of construction with trees falling daily and dump trucks carrying away tons of debris. These homes are created for a populous whose greatest concerns revolve around the interior comforts not the exterior habitat. They have a wish list of granite countertops, stainless steel appliances, low-maintenance landscape and a fully wired house for every devices imaginable.
It would be laughable if it wasn’t sad that many of these same people pay big money to travel elsewhere so they can relax and be impressed by nature.
I’m not opposed to development, I’m opposed to the seek-property-and-destroy mentality that exists today. How is a landholder enhancing habitat when a home is built nearly touching gutter to gutter?
The City of Surrey talks the talk, but there is no way they walk the walk, otherwise they would see there is no protection of nature in our backyards.
J. Zehner, Surrey