A message sent by critics at an open house has less to do with truck parks than planning

LETTERS: Surrey vision seems shortsighted

Letter writers address development in the City of Surrey.

Editor:

I read with great interest a Vancouver Sun article, High-tech hub takes shape in Burnaby, June 1.

It said there will be “six low-rise buildings housing dozens of companies of various sizes and roughly 600-700 workers… A number of companies, including BlackBerry, Toshiba, Sugoi, Raceface and Canadian medical imaging equipment maker Novadaq Technologies have already moved in or signed leases.”

PAN readers may remember the great fanfare for just such a centre in Campbell Heights when then-mayor Dianne Watts was promoting the need for development of this area. What did we get? Initially, warehouses employing relatively few people, and more recently a steel galvanizing plant opposed by many local residents.

But wait, it gets better. If Coun. Tom Gill gets his way, we will be home to a major truck-parking facility in this environmentally sensitive area.

Of course, it probably is no coincidence that the Burnaby project is within walking distance of a SkyTrain station and near major cycling routes. By contrast, Campbell Heights is in the boondocks, served by one bus route and located in an area with minimal infrastructure. City planning at its best.

I long for the day when Surrey has a visionary council, instead of the current group that has allowed unfettered and, in this writer’s opinion, poorly planned residential development to overwhelm our natural environment, our schools and our roads.

Bill Stewart, Surrey

• • •

Re: Truck park foes focus on area plan, June 3.

As one taxpayer who last September witnessed firsthand – and with shock – Surrey council’s unanimous vote to exclude 77 acres of the pending South Campbell Heights’ Local Area Plan so it could be considered ‘ahead’ of the process for a truck park, I would like to re-direct the focus of this article somewhat.

Definitely, residents and anyone who values Hazelmere Valley and agricultural lands both south and east do not welcome the pollution, traffic and other consequences brought by industrial development.

In 2014, Surrey council approved a resolution not to allow any rezonings in this area until the LAP was complete. This would allow future land-use projections to be made fairly.

Thus, ‘truck park foes’ are delivering a message that has less to do about truck parks per se and more about process: “Council, follow your own rules. Return this valuable land central to the survival of the Brookswood Aquifer to the LAP, so the level playing field assured in 2014 can be respected in crafting the LAP for this extraordinary gem.”

The ‘anti-truck park crowd’ supports Surrey truckers and parking lots in the right location. It the same crowd that supports proper civic process and wants to see good, fair land-use decisions for the future.

Victoria Blinkhorn, Langley

• • •

Re: Development dilemmas, June 10 letters.

At last, a letter writer asks a question that is so obvious, it should never be needed:

Why is city planning so piecemeal?

It ought to be comprehensive and integrate all the elements which make up a viable community.

Letter-writer Phyllis Moreau spells it out very clearly. Will the city respond?

R.M. Strang

 

 

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