Opinion

Development eroding our quality of life

I think many local residents have had enough of continual aggressive “planned” development that continues to erode our quality of life. It is in stark contrast to ‘Livable Region’ and sustainability plans, and will be very problematic in the future.

The recently released Suzuki report references a previous City of Surrey report that indicates concerns were not heeded. That report references the Campbell Heights development as “one of the worst examples of salmon habitat destruction in this province” that particular scientist had ever seen.

The report also states, “Our investigator considered this to be a great fact situation for filing a private prosecution against the City of Surrey for harmful alteration of fish habitat and/or deposit of a deleterious substance”. In case you don’t know, this very large area was clear cut and bulldozed. A beautiful area of Surrey was developed and became a barren industrial park. If you live in Surrey you will know of other developments that reduced the quality of our community.

It is curious the Campbell Heights development was relatively quiet and low profile until it was too late. I used to take my kids hiking and fishing there; this week I drove through the area and saw deer obviously without habitat/forest in the still developing area, and one dead on the side of the road.

Poorly conceived developments of this nature are a tragedy and a bad direction for Surrey. Worse yet, there are too many other examples.

A huge portion of the Clayton area has been clear cut of forest and informal parks, to make way for as many units as you can put in.

As someone with a long history of managing social services and youth services in Surrey, I know this is a recipe for serious future problems on many levels.

Why is it we cannot develop and maintain a livable, sustainable, healthy community and neighbourhoods where everyone can be safe, prosperous and live in a healthy environment? Why can’t we consider the widely accepted principles that will lead to reducing global warming, develop new prosperity for our communities and create healthy communities, neighbourhoods and families? If we can, future generations will not live in a worse place and not look back at us and say they ‘sold the farm’ and didn’t care about us. We have the potential to do much better.

Dave Blair

Surrey

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