LETTER: Council’s urgency without NCP is confusing

The Editor, An open letter to Surrey’s mayor and council:

A few days ago, I received information that the application 14-0225 to extend urbanization into an area without an NCP has been fast-tracked and was expected to go for a first and second reading last night (Dec. 15).

This is quite a surprise. There must be some urgency behind the application, but it is not clear from the application why this particular development – without an NCP – is so necessary for the community.

Communities do need much service from the city, that’s for sure. There are many issues you have to deal with and many projects that are necessary for a happy, healthy, well-functioning community. If this were an application for a hospital expansion, or for a road widening project, or for a new school, or an expansion for a firehouse, or even a bathroom for a playground (there are none anywhere near here), or perhaps even a playground (there are none near here either), or to save a 100-year-old forest from destruction, or to protect the power lines from damage from further wind storms, then I could understand the urgency.

Of course those issues might be the focus of public opposition, that’s true. Maybe applications like those need to be carefully guided through council so that they’re built properly and don’t infringe on neighbours’ perceptions of their neighborhood.

By the way, my power’s out for the third time in about 30 days. I’m beginning to suspect that something about the rampant development I’m seeing around here is not proceeding cautiously enough.

I lived in India for two years and the power went out constantly. We were used to it. When I moved to Canada, I was so excited to be able to work on my research without losing power. Now I see that I was perhaps premature in my expectations.

In short, I think perhaps you could focus your energies on building communities instead of fast-tracking applications that only increase pressure on areas that residents perceive to be mismanaged already.

And the lack of NCP in this area is most confusing to me, as a newcomer to Surrey.

It might be best to follow protocol unless the need for the service the city provides is more easily justified.

Alisa P. Ramakrishnan