LETTERS: Neighbours feel helpless

Letter writers speak out on frustrations dealing with change in the City of Surrey.

Editor:

This week, after months of talking with the Surrey planning department, my neighbours and I got a notice that the proposed daycare application for the end of our cul-de-sac was going to public hearing against the wishes of the department and neighbours, because Surrey council said they had not received any complaints.

No, the neighbours were sending all of the complaints to the planning department!

We were told to send the planning department our thoughts; for some reason we thought that is where we should be sending the complaints.

There was no mention that when the planning department told the council that the neighbours did not support the proposal, the council would ignore it because the letters were not sent directly to council.

For some reason, council wants this business, which has at least one other 45-unit daycare in Surrey, to expand the eight-unit daycare they have at the end of our small cul-de-sac.

The council plans to create a new zoning for the property so this company can expand. I wonder how many other people in Surrey could purchase a six-unit daycare, get it upgraded to eight, days after it was purchased, then a year or so later ask to have it increased to 25 units – and when that was not approved, get council support for a 16-unit at the end of a cul-de-sac where the city says there should be none!

I understand from the owner that they are renting commercial space for their 45-unit daycare, and that having their own daycare in a residential area would be a lot cheaper, so it is a good business move.

As there is no parking at the end of a cul-de-sac, I see why the neighbours do not want it; driveways will be blocked, there will be accidents and children will be hurt.

I feel sorry for the planning department, when the council tells them, ‘we do not care what you say or what the rules/guidelines are, just change things so this business gets what he wants.’

Wayne Wagstaff, Surrey

• • •

Surrey’s tree bylaw has failed Ocean Park residents.

In just two days, three 100-foot-plus healthy, heritage cedar trees have been felled so another ‘house flipper’ can maximize the house size of his lot and flip his property with no thought of the current residents,  neighbourhood or wildlife, and the City of Surrey sanctions this.

It is a crying shame that big, ugly houses take precedence over large trees, wildlife and the very neighbours that live there.

Why do they have all the rights and we have none?

TreesI had tried for weeks to get someone’s attention to save two of the three cedars, but to no avail. It brought tears to my eyes to see them all come down – as we had been tricked into thinking one would be saved as it stood behind an orange fence for weeks in the corner of the lot.

Do not tell me trees have to be removed to build; that is not true, as most of these homes were built around the surrounding forests.

I did not move here for big open sky, I moved here for forests and big trees. And now that is being taken away at an alarming rate because the bylaws allow large houses on small lots.

This has to stop. Ocean Park is a rare gem and needs protection. Do people not realize trees add value to a home? There is a reason we have eagles and owls here, and other places do not.

As Ocean Park residents, we have to protect what we value in our neighbourhoods, and for me that means big trees and green spaces.

The chainsaw continues as I write this and three strong soldiers that stood for 80 years are now gone. Three lost shadows from the sky.

Caroline McCue-Davies, Surrey

 

 

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