We would like to express our deep concern and opposition to the proposed hotel, convention centre and casino proposed for 168 Street just north of 8 Avenue.
There are several reasons for our concern and opposition.
1. This is a quiet rural residential area with the only real activity being a small Par 3 golf course, which has been there for many years. Building a large, busy, noisy hotel, convention centre and casino with the resultant high traffic level would ruin the rural residential character of the area.
2. Access onto 8 Avenue is very problematic, as you cannot turn left when heading south and there are no traffic lights. With the high volume of traffic already on 8 Avenue due to large trucks and vehicles travelling east and west to utilize both border crossings, I can foresee serious traffic problems.
3. Currently, 168 Street is a narrow rural street and certainly not wide enough to handle such traffic. One only needs to look at the road requirements at the Richmond and Coquitlam casinos to realize the street would need to be widened to four lanes.
4. Why do we need another casino? There are already six gambling facilities within a short distance, in Richmond, New Westminster, Burnaby, Coquitlam, Cloverdale and Langley. In addition, there are at least three more casinos within 45 minutes south in Washington State. There is clearly an over-abundance of casinos in the area.
5. I was told casinos are built where the population is. Clearly someone is confused about the figures in South Surrey/White Rock. From my perspective, the establishment should be built in an area served by public transportation, such as buses and SkyTrain.
6. Lastly, you cannot escape from the increased crime and negative social consequences of close access to gambling casinos. We do not want increased policing costs and crime resulting from such an establishment in our community.
Granted, there may be additional employment as a result of such a facility, but I am not convinced the rush by some to reap those financial rewards should overshadow the long-term negative consequences which will impact all residents of South Surrey and White Rock.
I am told Surrey needs a high-class convention centre. I cannot disagree with this statement and certainly another hotel built in conjunction with such a facility would be a plus if both are built in an appropriate area.
Other developers are involved in a major development in North Surrey. There is also a significant effort to expand commercial development in Cloverdale. If there is need for a first-class convention centre and hotel, it should be built in one of those areas of the community which are being properly developed. It should not be constructed in a rural “green space” just because it’s vacant and there is a large profit to be made.
T. Roark & P. Wolczuk, Surrey