Re: Paving way for parking, Sept. 18.
The idea alone that Surrey council thinks a truck park on this special agricultural land is abhorrent enough, but what is more concerning is council’s eagerness to have the application for the rezoning of 77 acres of agricultural land in Hazelmere for the project be given special consideration and not be part of the Land Use Plan (Ecological area eyed for development, Sept. 16).
Surely there is due process involved, and it is not up to one council member to decide that something he favours should get special treatment.
It also should be noted that the city just paid for an environmental study of the area The environmental study will “provide detailed environmental information before any further planning works are considered in the area.”
So why did Coun. Tom Gill ask for this application to be considered without reference to the study? Is that what happens when recommendations are not favourable to a scheme, the answer from Surrey council is to have the scheme considered outside of the survey?
When Gill asked for special consideration at the Sept. 14 meeting, he did not comment or justify, and neither did the other council members, who passed the request, ask why it was for so many acres. It seems like a thinly veiled effort to rezone an area for industrial use that would never be considered in the normal legal process.
Gill talks about the number of illegal trucks parked in Surrey. Could he clarify how many are in South Surrey?
Does anyone really believe that drivers from North Surrey who park for free are going to drive down to South Surrey and pay to park their trucks?
The alternative? There are more-suitable spots of the right size for sale on 176 Street, with a four-lane road for turning, and where agricultural land is already compromised by trucks and buildings, to name just a few.
There would, of course, be less millions to be made. But if a truck park is needed, Gill should be directing his developers to the most suitable sites.
Sarah Rush, Surrey
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It is disappointing but not surprising to see that Surrey council is planning the development of land near the headwaters of the Little Campbell River.
Some 45 years ago, our local and regional governments planned to locate a garbage dump in that general area as well. At the time, I was an inspector with the Boundary Health Unit and we received a request by the B.C. Ministry of Environment to review that proposal from an environmental-health perspective.
Inspections revealed ground water was bubbling up in numerous springs that drained into the Little Campbell. Samples indicated the water was pure and uncontaminated. We concluded that drainage from a dump would have a very negative impact on water quality and would adversely impact life forms in the stream.
We believed that over time, pollution from the dump could negatively impact water quality on the beach at the mouth of the river and potentially even White Rock.
We were pleased to see that the proposed garbage dump was rejected and believe our strong position played a significant part in that rejection.
Forty-five years later, pressure for land for development is again threatening this important area.
The creation of a truck parking and maintenance area is, in my opinion, the last thing you would want to build near the Little Campbell River. First the removal of all the trees and natural growth would drastically impact the flow of the river, as runoff would quickly enter, carrying with it all the new contaminants.
You can easily imagine engine oil, diesel fuel, gasoline, and other toxic fluids entering and polluting the river.
Certainly some will be careful, but accidents happen all the time. Then there is the person who doesn’t have time or interest to properly dispose of waste, and it gets dumped into the manhole – out of sight, out of mind.
Our streams and potable aquifers are being encroached on and adversely impacted as we place development priorities ahead of protecting our environment and wildlife. It’s time for a much closer review of all land-development proposals in this area to ensure that the headwaters of the Little Campbell River and nearby aquifers are fully protected for future generations.
Tim Roark, Surrey
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An open letter to Surrey Mayor Linda Hepner.
I am appalled to read of any proposed industrial development of this area. Remember that this is really part of the beautiful Hazelmere Valley.
Tell me, Linda, when will you say “no” to continuing industrial development in this rural area? When will you say “no” to the continuing destruction on our trees, and along with the trees, our wildlife? When will you listen to the voices of the public rather than the developers?
They may have the money, but the people have the vote.
Regarding South Campbell Heights, do not say “some should be saved.” Say “no more industrial development south of the present Campbell Heights business park.”
I see that the residents around Kwomais Point Park have successfully petitioned for a bylaw to preserve the character of the neighbourhood (Rezoning aims to limit Kwomais, Sept. 25). Good for them! But does that mean that every neighbourhood in Surrey must now organize and petition council on order to retain its quality of life?
I do not plan to vote for you or Coun. Tom Gill in the next election, unless there is a major change in your focus on life in Surrey.
Lois Smith, Surrey