The Surrey Truck Stop Proposal – Why are Township of Langley Council members NOT standing up for their residents?

Posted: December 10, 2015 in Uncategorized

The Surrey Truck Stop proposal has been in the local and regional news a lot lately. It is controversial to say the least with a number of serious concerns by the public related to this project pertaining to the Township of Langley. One of the serious concerns is related to the potential contamination of the Brookswood Aquifer, a source of drinking water to close to 20,000 Township of Langley residents (Brookswood / Fernridge South) plus many on the Surrey side of the border.

While the approval of this project lies entirely with Surrey Council members, there is a very well supported principle by neighboring Councils to take neighboring community concerns into account wherever possible. For this to happen in a transparent and public engaging way (Public Engagement, sound familiar?) a motion of Council in a Public Meeting to state their position is the ONLY solution to show support for their resident’s concerns. Private discussions behind closed doors with a neighboring Council members, does not cut it! Taxpayers expect much better!

In a recent news story in the Langley Times by Dan Ferguson the following disturbing comments were made by members of our Council –

Councilor Kim Richter proposed a Council Vote to condemn the project, but agreed to a postponement in light of the discussion with Surrey. – Langleywatchdog: In what is consistently familiar with Kim Richter, she wishes to be seen as the defender of the public, BUT she has NO follow through and NO finish on behalf of the residents she purports to support! Message to Kim Richter – Your act is tired and is being seen for what it is, an ACT! Stop playing politics and start being serious. Do the job! Put forward the motion!

Mayor Froese stated – “This isn’t the time for this (a vote on formal opposition to the proposed facility.)” Langleywatchdog:  Jack Froese is at least being consistent in that he is NOT standing up for residents and the community that he was elected to serve.

Councilor Angie Quaale stated – “I don’t think a motion to oppose something that we haven’t seen is a good idea.” Langleywatchdog:  Did she actually say that? After all of the input and information that this Council has either had or was available to them through presentation after presentation plus staff reports, this kind of comment coming from one of our councilors is inexcusable! Where has she been?

I am in receipt of the following letter to the editor which poses a few additional serious concerns.

Letter to the Editor

Surrey Truck Stop proposal – Mayor Froese miss-speaks: 

At the Township council meeting on Monday, November 2, Councilor Kim Richter put forward a motion to send an official letter of opposition to a truck parking and service center being proposed for South Surrey in the area of 16th Avenue and 194th Street.  During a lengthy discussion over the merits of such a motion, Mayor Froese said “this proposal is within the Special Study Area” and further, that “Surrey staff have not seen the application”. Both statements are incorrect, and while this might seem trivial, Mayor Froese was using them to support his position that the Township has plenty of time to make their position on the proposed facility known to Surrey Council.

The Special Study area (SSA) is a 600 acre parcel of land south of the Campbell Heights industrial park that is under review by Surrey staff for possible future uses. Currently the land is zoned Agricultural but is not within the provincial Agricultural Land Reserve.  Mayor Froese miss-spoke on two points.  First; On September 14th, Surrey council unanimously approved a motion by Councilor Tom Gill that the 77 acre area proposed for the truck park be REMOVED from the 600 acre special study area so that the proposal could move forward “concurrently” with the land use planning process.  Second; Surrey staff AND at least three members of council: Councilors Gill, Vera LaFranc and Dave Woods (all members of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee) received a presentation by the proponents GG Metro Holdings in late July of this year, and held further discussions at their September 11th TIC meeting, not 3 days before the council vote on excluding the proposal from the SSA.

Surrey’s proposal to put a truck parking and service facility at 16th and 194th is of major concern to the Township.  As stated in Councilor Richter’s motion, it could have a substantial negative impact on the Brookswood Aquifer (a major source of drinking water to South Langley), Agri-Tourism and species diversity including endangered species.  It deserves timely attention from Township Council.  When our Mayor explains the significance or details of what is (becoming) a very controversial proposal, he should be sure to get his facts straight.

Name withheld

Langley, BC

NOTE – I will accept Letters to the Editor on major issues of relevance. It will be up to those individuals whether their name is used. Given the record of the Township as to intimidation and bullying of those in opposition, I will protect the privacy of all involved.

 

RG

I am working on a few posts at present that I believe should be of significant concern and interest to residents of the Township of Langley.

Protect your Democratic Rights – Protect your NEIGHBORS Democratic Rights – stay informed, stay involved and STAY ACTIVE!!!

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