LETTERS: Surrey: City of industrial parks

Editor:

Re: Langley leaders doubt truck park’s a go, Nov 11.

Editor:

Re: Langley leaders doubt truck park’s a go, Nov 11.

A Remembrance Day stroll through Campbell Valley Park with my family reminds me of how vital nature is to a happy, healthy community.

I know how rapidly urban densification consumes vast hectares of rural land, having watched townhouses take over second-growth forests in Grandview Heights.

Here, in this park, I am surrounded once again by the comfort of increasingly rare 100-year-old trees. I watch happily as my children’s faces light up whenever a chickadee flits to their little hands. Eagles soar high overhead as we follow the forest trail over a bridge crossing the Little Campbell River, which sparkles below. What a shame to think this could all be gone soon.

One does not need to be an ‘environmentalist’ to understand that parking and maintaining hundreds of trucks on ecologically sensitive land is far too risky for even the most experienced developer.

Surrey Coun. Tom Gill, who is also chair of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, has desperately fought to solve a truck-parking shortage since 2006.

And while Langley Township Mayor Jack Froese and a few other councillors from Langley may doubt the City of Surrey would ever allow a truck park to go ahead, I politely disagree. I have seen Surrey push developments through, despite opposition and regardless of significant destruction to wildlife habitat, like they did with Campbell Heights North Business Park.

And let’s not forget that Surrey Mayor Linda Hepner’s “good neighbour” promise to keep Langley up-to-date only came about after she was questioned by Langley leaders as to why there had been no discussions yet, other than a big green sign proposing to rezone 77 acres of agricultural land to industrial for a truck-parking facility.

Not only would Langley’s supply of groundwater be put in jeopardy if the underlying Brookswood aquifer became contaminated, but so would the highly sensitive, salmon-bearing Little Campbell River.

No doubt the applicant will jump strategically through the City of Surrey’s usual hoops; hiring their own environmental professionals to give the green light, once ‘world-class’ environmental safeguards are ‘imagineered’ by engineers, who conveniently act as biologists, too.

Voters have entrusted Hepner and Surrey council to not only look after the current and future economic well-being of its community, but the social and environmental well-being as well. To approve this truck-parking facility – despite the thousands rallying against it – should act as a wake-up call to all.

The once-beautiful “city of parks” has transformed itself into the “city of industrial parks,” putting the all-mighty dollar ahead of the health and happiness of an entire community.

Sarah Dobson, Surrey