LETTER: More green space, please

The Editor,

As a longtime resident of Surrey, I would like to call upon civic politicians and candidates to increase the amount of green space in neighbourhoods, especially those with secondary suites.

Over the years, Surrey has witnessed steady population growth and the proliferation of housing to meet the growing demand. With a majority pro-development city council in Surrey over the last few decades, it could be argued that local politicians "never met a subdivision they didn’t like." Beautiful trees and green spaces were destroyed for poorly planned housing development and growth.

The city basically failed to respond with adequate city planning and urban design.

For example, I feel secondary suites and a lack of parking are the major challenges the city faces currently.

There are close to 26,000 secondary suites registered with the city. Multiple or larger families residing in the same house results in more vehicles. Homeowners are being forced to pave over their lawns to make room for parking. The streets are crowded with cars.

This results in a lack of green space and play areas. It’s not safe for children to play on crowded residential streets. It’s an accident waiting to happen. The long-term impact can be devastating to the environment and the safety and wellbeing of our communities.

So, what’s the solution? I recommend that the city planner incorporate the following amenities for all new Surrey neighbourhood developments, especially those with secondary suites: overflow community parking areas; community gardens; well-lit pedestrian park routes for walking and bicycle trails; more community parks, play areas and green spaces and tree-lined residential streets.

It’s about the beautification and sustainability of our city.

It’s about the wellbeing and safety of our communities. We need to protect our environment and preserve the natural character of our neighbourhoods, as well as provide safe and healthy green spaces for our residents to enjoy.

Alex Sangha