CITY OF SURREY IS PROPOSING INDUSTRIALIZING THE HAZELMERE CAMPBELL VALLEY
In the early 2000s the City Of Surrey embarked on Campbell Hts Phase 1, ignoring pleas from its own Environmental Advisory Committee AND LOCAL NGOs for more study and planning.
The execution of the City Plan resulted in “one of the worst examples of habitat destruction that I have ever witnessed” (John Werring, David Susuki Foundation).
John Werring stated that “the City should have collected more ecological information before it signed off”.
Since then the City has had to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars mitigating that damage with more to come if the habitat losses are to be compensated for as committed.
The Hepner administration commissioned The Madrone study before asking Metro for permission to move Campbell Hts south and basically surround the most productive part of the entire Campbell River with development. Metro sent the plan back due to lack of information, information which we still do not have to this day.
During the 2018 election campaign, the Little Campbell Watershed Society personally interviewed Doug McCallum about the Hazelmere Campbell Valley. Doug was adamant that the previous Council had showed poor judgement in asking Metro to allow to extend urbanization south and that he would be more sensitive to what’s at stake here, especially south of 16 Ave. We distributed the statements that Doug made during that meeting to voters.
What do we still not know?
This part of the watershed sits over the unconfined Brookswood aquifer (an aquifer that tables at the surface in multiple locations). For years both the LCWS and the Province have agreed that a GROUNDWATER TO SURFACE WATER INTERACTION STUDY should precede any further development. We have no idea if what’s already built is polluting the aquifer and/or the river.
MADRONE STUDY: “ The area is critical for groundwater recharge and baseflow contribution to local watercourses.”
MADRONE STUDY: “This area is particularly rich in biodiversity”. How would any development here impact biodiversity? At this point we can only guess at how much wildlife habitat would be destroyed and endangered species density damaged.
MADRONE STUDY: “Only 1% of the Little Campbell River Management Area is protected. The lowest of all the Management Areas identified in the Biodiversity study.”
Doug McCallum has disbanded Surrey’s own ENVIRONMENTAL ADVISORY COMMITTEE.
The longstanding assertion by Surrey Environmental Partners that the current lack of parkspace in South Surrey, is desperately in need of correction not platitudes has been highlighted by both Covid overcrowding issues and the current population growth rate.
In terms of water and wildlife, the “new plan” is even more reckless than the last one. At least for the last plan the process began with real principles of community engagement. Now all comprehensive consultation with the community has been abandoned. Please stay tuned.