LETTERS: River no place for truck park

Editor:

Re: Paving the way for parking, Sept. 18.

Editor:

Re: Paving the way for parking, Sept. 18.

Surrey city council’s fast-track plan to put a truck park in the area abutting the Little Campbell River is outrageous. The Little Campbell is important to salmon and trout and the area is lovely parkland.

Truckers would use the bulldozed space to change oil and other mechanical fluids and to wash their rigs. And where is that water likely to wash the toxins?

Coun. Tom Gill says he would insist on the highest environmental standards? We’ve heard that phrase before – from Lac-Mégantic, from Mount Polley Mine, most recently in April, when 2,700 litres of oil leaked from the M/V Marathassa into English Bay – all protected under regulated “highest environmental standards.”

The Little Campbell is called “Little” because it is… little. One leak could destroy life in that river.

Gill is quoted as saying:“There is a need for truck parking throughout the city.” So bulldoze a casino and build a truck park nearer the commercial area.

Susan Lindenberger, White Rock

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By what possible stretch of imagination can Coun. Tom Gill and his colleagues think that turning riparian forest land into a truck parking lot is the ‘highest and best use’ for this parcel?

R.M. Strang, Surrey

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The Surrey city council has decided that within a special “study area” in the Hazelmere Valley, there should be a parking lot and service centre for a thousand diesel transport trucks?

It is a pristine valley that is not only one of the most biologically diverse ecological zones in the province, according to information available on the City of Surrey’s own website, it is a virtual heritage site from one end to the other.

And it just so happens that ‘a river runs through it’ – the delicate Little Campbell, which meanders its way from its headwaters at the planned diesel park, through the Semiahmoo First Nation in White Rock to a picturesque outflow to the sea.

Some councillors say the need is critical because otherwise trucks will be illegally parked elsewhere. They are the very ones that have outlawed every other attempt by residents with acreage to park trucks, even within the 1,900-acre Campbell Heights Industrial Park, and on acreages along the Pacific Highway corridor, from the border to Cloverdale.

Could it be that rezoning pristine agricultural land rings in at a price the developers can afford?

You may wonder why, with all of the heavy transport rolling along Highway 1, the South Fraser Perimeter Road, Port Kells, North Langley, and Aldergove, there would not be interest to serve the trucking industry in a more central location?

This is heavy industry that they are pushing for, and it is noteworthy that council now refers to the Hazelmere Valley as the South Campbell Heights area, as if it were a natural extension of that light industrial park. Imagine, heavy industry, in this ecological paradise, which is one of the largest bird migratory routes in the province!

Did the change from ‘municipality’ to ‘city’, and the relocation of the city hall to North Surrey, cause a sudden loss in the councillors’ will to defend the legacy of the Official Community Plan of Surrey in terms of ecologically sensitive areas as cited in its website? They want, instead, to fast track this rezoning by removing it from the OCP.

South Surrey, South Langley and White Rock are a precious and easily accessible recreational and natural resource, enjoyed by those who live here and visited by hundreds of thousands of people who walk, swim, paddleboard, bike, ride horses, or just simply take in the beauty of its wild life throughout the region.

Another course must be chosen.

Dave Wasmuth, Langley