I have recently become aware of a proposed industrial park to be developed in the Hazelmere Valley in South Surrey. I am both horrified and saddened by the thought that this fertile valley may be transformed by yet another sprawling industrial development along with the additional traffic that will ensue.
The potential for farming in this region is immense. With many places in the world that we now rely on for food being seriously affected by devastating drought and other climate-caused challenges, we will need to rely more and more on our own arable land for food production.
At the rampant rate of development throughout the entire Metro Vancouver region, this does not seem to be a consideration of most civic governments.
Forests and meadowlands are being scraped away daily in my home city of Surrey, along with other areas throughout the region to make way for expansive housing, commercial and industrial developments, with little thought given to integrating green space, so vital to our health and well-being.
From what I observe, Surrey in particular seems to be focused on development as the main source of income with little or no thought given to quality of life now and into the future.
We need to start considering green space as a valuable asset rather than a space to fill with buildings, pavement and traffic.
In my opinion, developers seem to have free rein. I believe many in Surrey feel this way but are not speaking out.
I advise people who may not be familiar with the impact these expansive industrial parks have on the landscape and natural environment in general, to drive to 32 Avenue and 192 Street, as one example, at peak times – between 3 and 5 p.m. – and ask themselves if this is what they want in Hazelmere.
The Fraser Valley has become a magnet for people from all over the world with its temperate climate and beautiful natural setting.
The irony is that the influx of people, as well as the current development model, is threatening the very qualities of life that attract people in the first place.
I think we need to seriously come together as a community and entire region and re-evaluate what we want for our future. The endless urban sprawl of cities like Los Angeles and San Francisco, extending hundreds of miles in all directions, barren and stripped of the productive fruit orchards, farms, ranches and forests that once covered the same hillsides, or a balanced region and province that preserves and supports agriculture and sees the need for green space equally incorporated into all development going forward.
Unfortunately, at the current time, I see the former becoming a very real possibility. I encourage others who have concerns to express their views.
There are still areas of natural beauty and abundance in the valley, but they are disappearing fast. Our voices matter.
Dorothy Danielson, Surrey