Once Surrey council allows development of a prized green space, it will be gone forever, opponents of a planned development in Green Timbers say.
Several people lined up for a public hearing Monday in regard to a planned development near Green Timbers Urban Forest. While the five-hectare (12-acre) parcel of property at 140 Street and Green Timbers Way is not technically located inside the heritage forest, it is next to the mammoth 183-hectare (452-acre) park in North Surrey.
The property being discussed, now zoned one-acre residential, is slated for development for a homeless shelter and transition housing, health care facility and a bio-energy station.
Don Schuetze, president of the Green Timbers Heritage Society, conceded to council it’s hard to argue against the benefits of the planned developments.
But he said while they are likely needed in the city, he argued the plot of land by the park is the wrong spot for them. He noted once the area is dug up, it will never return to its pristine state.
He asked council to delay the decision until a better assessment of the green space can be performed.
Deb Jack, president of Surrey Environmental Partners, agreed with Schuetze’s concern.
She believes that along with a promised arborist’s report, the site needs a wildlife review. To do less would be to invite disaster, she said.
“There’s going to be another killing field,” Jack told council.
Jack said the highest and best use for the land is to leave it in its natural state.
“Especially when it’s contiguous to a park,” she told council.
The public hearing on May 2 lasted until nearly midnight and council decided to delay the decision until next Monday (May 9).