Tuesday, June 17, 2014

A Walk through Sullivan Heights-Time to put People First.






Had a little walk through my neighbourhood the other day and stopped to admire these majestic trees on 140th St. near the former city hall in  Sullivan Heights/South Newton.
 Aren't they gorgeous? 
 I hope they will be spared when this site is developed. 
 Sullivan Heights is changing in many ways.  There are some great new condos at Latitude on 60th Ave.  and many new townhouse complexes under construction in the area. BUT...we worry about so many development proposals  for mega homes  some up to 4500 sq. ft. on super-small lots.

Wondering how application for 14 homes turned 
into the 16  shown below...... #SurreyMath
 How many suites do you think will be in these homes ? This was designated as a townhouse site, but the developer was allowed to change to this. With townhouses at least there's a strata council in place to monitor rentals etc.
We need to take a breath and rethink the  suite strategy in Surrey. I am          100 % in favour of multi- generational families living together. In fact I would like to see more of us adopt this way of living. For children it  provides a link to their past and culture. Whatever that culture might be. The situation we have in Surrey is that too many home owners are renting out more than one suite in their homes, and this is putting a strain on services, schools, and is not a sustainable way to  develop our city. We  cannot continue to put development dollars before  the needs of  the people who call this place home. It's not working. 




Let's make the kind of decisions we can be proud of  10, 20, 50 years from now.   You don't have to be a card carrying tree hugger  or be anti-development or anti-business to think this way.  God knows we're sure not. We are business people  first and foremost in this household. My husband runs his business in the city & is a member of the Surrey Board of Trade. I promote Surrey businesses every chance I get.  



But we have to face facts. The city is being developed too much too fast and that's having some fairly dire consequences. Over crowded schools, parking nightmares in many neighbourhoods, and a drug & crime problem that is placing a stress on our police force  to put it mildly.

We need to take our collective foot off the gas... 
We don't need to slam on the brakes. 
Repeat, we do NOT have to slam on the brakes! Just take it off full pedal to the metal mode, get out of the car, have a look around, and then carefully, thoughtfully get back in the driver's seat and go at a reasonable speed.
  Isn't that just common sense?

5500 block 140th St





140th St. development site



Creative developers need to find a way to incorporate these trees into their plans.  And the city's planners have to think more about the liveability of the region.
Most people prefer to purchase a home, and will pay more for a home with mature trees already in place. 

 Fun Fact: Sullivan Heights used to be home to wild pheasants who made the most unusual sounds. Really miss them!

Development sign on 140th St.

We want a mayor & council who put the interests of people above those of developers. Surrey didn't get this way by accident. Decisions were made that got us into this mess. Now's the time for some big, bold moves by city councillors and the planning department. Same old status quo? Or a new  smarter and liveable vision for our city. Who's going to step up for Surrey citizens and put people ahead of profit?