Don Schuetze

Looks like a park, should be a park

City wants to rezone properties in Green Timbers Urban Forest.

Two properties nestled inside the Green Timbers Urban Forest were recently sold to the City of Surrey by the provincial government.

They’re basically at the corner of 140 Street and Green Timbers Way, across from the Jim Pattison Outpatient Care and Surgery Centre’s parking lot.

A public hearing regarding these two properties is scheduled for this Monday, May 2, at 7 p.m. at Surrey City Hall.

The city wants to rezone the properties “to accommodate future institutional, residential, office and civic uses including care facility, emergency shelter/transitional housing, offices and bio-energy facility.”

I’m sure those are great causes. But what about our park? What about our green spaces? What about diminishing tree canopy?

Anyone walking, cycling or driving by would think this partially forested area is protected. But it’s not.

I personally believe the area has far more value to the citizens of Surrey, now and for future generations, as a natural area and it should be preserved as a park.

In 50 years, will people look back at this decision and say “yes, an office building and a bio-energy facility were the right thing to put here,” or will they ask why we continued to tear down trees and pave over natural areas?

I have a challenge for you: Stand at 140 Street and 100 Avenue and face south. The area on your left is still park. Now, walk south, towards Green Timbers Way. Can you tell where the park ends and this property begins?

I can’t. No one can. Well, perhaps a surveyor looking for boundary marks can, but no normal citizen can.

The area looks like park, feels like park, and is historically tied to the other areas that have already been saved as park. It should be kept that way for all citizens of Surrey, not just now, but for the future as well.

For your input to be part of the package given to councillors, email the city clerk at clerks@surrey.ca before Monday, May 2.

The public hearing starts at 7p.m. Learn more: http://bit.ly/1QAZZJe

For information about giving feedback and opinions to council, visit http://bit.ly/1SQ8gAT

For the information package on the proposal, the site, the history and the plans (29 pages), go to http://bit.ly/1rinkeg

 

Don Schuetze

President

Green Timbers

Heritage Society

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