LETTER: We demand a say in the future of our neighbourhood

LETTER: We demand a say in the future of our neighbourhood

The Editor,

Re: "Growing pains in Grandview," the Now, June 17.

Kudos to the Now and Amy Reid for an excellent series of articles about Surrey neighbourhoods, particularly the latest on Grandview Heights where I live.

As the article pointed out, Grandview Heights residents are deeply concerned about an urban subdivision currently proposed for our quiet suburban area.

Surrey’s community planning manager Don Luymes gets it right when he says we are asking: "What will the impact of new urban development be on my property and my quality of life?" Development seems to be out of control in Surrey, and the result is loss of trees and green space, urban sprawl and the potential destruction of suburban neighbourhoods.

Judging by other statements made by Luymes, it would appear that the city still plans to ram this high-density development down our throats despite the fact that an overwhelming majority of our neighbours are against this proposal, which seems to violate Surrey’s most important development policies. There’s no reason these six developers shouldn’t have the same options available to the rest of us – stay in their homes, rebuild, or sell at market price.

If the city’s mysterious plan to offer us some assurances that the rest of our neighbourhood won’t be similarly divvied up by developers consists of nothing more substantial than the usual promises and toothless policies, well, we already know what they’re worth. No "little infill plan" will accomplish this, and I would urge the city to consult with our entire neighbourhood in a meaningful way about these issues before taking any action. We want some say in what happens to our area, and we want council to respect the city’s development policies.

For those of your Surrey readers who think this kind of piecemeal over-development can’t happen to their neighbourhood, think again. If you don’t take an active role in monitoring and shaping development proposals near you, the next thing you’ll probably hear is the sound of chainsaws clear-cutting trees and excavators digging foundations.

Gary Cameron, Surrey