About 40 years ago planners and councillors built new developments in South Surrey that gave new meaning to housing development. They built cul de sacs which immediately established new neighbourhoods and communities. Unlike linear streets, cul de sacs bring people together. The planners and the municipal politicians left a legacy of healthy community life.
We live on half a cul de sac in the McNally Creek area, and we comprise a small community in which we know each other well,help each other out, and have a healthy community life. The lots are big enough for kids to be able to kick or throw a ball around or cultivate a garden.
Times have changed. The demand for housing has increased. However, there has to be a better approach to community housing plans than cramming as many houses as possible into any available space. Such developments have no space other than for small houses, often with basement suites, postage-stamp lots, and cars.
Community services like schools and hospitals struggle to keep pace with demand. Children compete with cars for somewhere to play. The social and psychological effects on future generations will be significant. The environmental costs can already be measured.
We would reluctantly put up with the some new houses built on the other side of the completed cul de sac, but some of us would like to see a green space for the community as a whole, including the 100 new houses just south of us.
I would like to receive a gift from the city: not just a green space where kids can play and grow, but recognition from the council that they are doing more than approving development proposal after development proposal, that they are in fact leaving a legacy for the future, a legacy for which their names will always be attached for good or ill.
Peter Ferris, Surrey