An Expensive Dead-end Road?
Surrey City Council unanimously removed Hawthorne Rotary Park’s protected status on Monday, November 6th. They ignored the pleas of over 11,000 people to leave the park alone and examine other alternatives to the 105 Avenue Connector project. Visit In the News page for media coverage of citizens’ reaction to the decision.
An Expensive Dead-end Road?
The cost of tree-clearing, bog removal and disposal, land purchases and expropriations, the capital costs of moving the utilities and building the road could add up to $50 million or more. Add to that the cost of land and construction of a new playing field and mitigation to the park’s environment and the project could easily reach $60 million.
Council voted to remove the park’s dedication for a road that may end at 147th Street. The latest Corporate Report CR223 indicates there is no agreement with the school district despite five years of discussion. “Should a mutual agreement not occur, the City would complete 147 Street from 104 Avenue to 105 Avenue.” The city needs to replace Hjorth Road School or the whole 105 Avenue Connector is useless. It would end at 147th and divert traffic back onto 104th Avenue.
If the city provides the capital funding to replace Hjorth Road School, the 105 Avenue Connector could cost as much as $90 – $100 million.
The promised second consultation date is tentatively scheduled for December 6th with the location to be announced. This consultation won’t be about the 105 Connector. As far as the city is concerned that’s a done deal. This open house will be about enhancement plans for Hawthorne Rotary Park.
No Construction without Approvals!
Construction of the 105 Avenue Connector through the park is set to begin in January even though the city has no permits from the federal or provincial government. The City should not begin any work in the park without proper independent assessments, recommendations and permits.
The Federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) and the Riparian Area Regulation (RAR) focus on fish habitat, streams and associated water sources. Drainage, water volume, base flows, hydrology, in-stream habitat, vegetation cover and buffers will be the primary focus. The bog and wetland will figure into this.
Detailed assessments and a Stream Protection and Enhancement Area (SPEA) SPEA (including drainage impacts), permits under Section 11 Water Sustainability Act, surveys to satisfy the Species at Risk Act including Recovery, and a Raptor Survey under the Wildlife Act should all be obtained before any work in Hawthorne Park commences.
We need to be vigilant and report any unauthorized activity in the park. No Permits – No Road
The results of the City of Surrey’s survey on the Guildford Town Centre and 104th Avenue Corridor have been tabulated. The results reinforce our argument that Hawthorne Park must be saved. Survey results from 701 responses indicate that 76% believe protection & restoration of habitat is important or very important and 79% support a thriving tree canopy. Along with the approximately 13,000 forms that were submitted by the Sept. 22nd deadline, this survey shows how important our trees and natural areas are to Surrey citizens. Will council listen?
Things you need to know
- The City of Surrey is planning to build a road through Hawthorne Park. Despite wide-spread opposition, council has decided to ignore the voice of the people.
- Hawthorne Park is protected by a 1979 dedication bylaw. Council had decided to forego a referendum and remove the parkland dedication by using a loophole in provincial legislation.
- The Alternative Approval Process allows Surrey to avoid a referendum and forces citizens to gather 30,372 signed Electoral Response Forms.
- Surrey’s Biodiversity Conservation Strategy identifies Hawthorne Park as a large protected forested natural area that includes lakes and Bonaccord and Hawthorne Creeks.
- The road will cut through this high-use park that includes a busy playground and water park and is a host park for city and school-based ecological & physical activity programs and events.
- You can read more about the city’s plans by visiting their web site.
- Please visit our Background Information page to view the reasons why the community believes this road is the result of misguided planning.
Save Hawthorne Park group delivers over 10,000 petitions to City Hall
The Friday, Sep. 22nd deadline imposed unanimously by Mayor Hepner and her council was marked in special fashion by a group of dedicated volunteers. Dozens of volunteer canvassers carried boxes containing nearly 11,000 signed Electoral Response Forms to 5th Floor office of the City Clerk. While it was a festive occasion and the culmination of a lot of hard work, the battle still continues. Between no w and council’s ultimate decision, the work will continue as we gather support and momentum to halt the 105 Avenue Connector Project. Please visit the media coverage of this event in our In The News page.
Thanks to David Suzuki & the Kwantlen First Nation Elders
On Saturday, Sep. 16, 300 people gathered on Kwantlen First Nation’s territory to help “Save Hawthorne Park.” A special thanks to Chief Marilyn Gabriel, Elder Kevin Kelly, and their son Michael Kelly-Gabriel for their welcome and blessing.
Also a big shout out to all the great volunteers who helped make the day a success and collected a bunch more forms as we head towards Friday’s deadline. Check out media coverage on our In The News page.