Disclaimer – I occasionally write about other municipalities, communities and towns\cities council decisions as I find the decisions and process interesting. I also think its important for us to understand all of the surrounding cities and decisions that are being made.
David Suzuki attended a protest at Hawthorne Park in Surrey on September 16th as city council plans to move forward with a plan to remove part of the park and put a road in it’s place.
Let’s break down the process.
On July 24th the Surrey Engineering department brought forward R161 which asked City Council to move forward with the recommendations to remove part of Hawthorne Park and create a road to connect Whalley Boulevard and 150th St. The recommendation is part of Surrey’s 10 year Capital Serving Program and includes the following:
1) A two lane road for vehicles
2) Bicycle lanes
The recommendation states that the proposed changes would result in a net gain of trees in the park.
However, it is important to note that at this point in time Surrey Engineering requested that an “Alternative Approval Process” be implemented for this recommendation. Essentially, the AAP (Alternative Approval Process), or section 86, is a method to avoid a referendum. If more than 10% of the electors oppose the proposed bylaw, it cannot proceed without referendum.
This process included a letter to “The City of Surrey” that included the following:
The City Council proposes to remove Portion of Hawthorne Park, Park Reserve By-law, 1979, No. 5812 unless, by 4:00 p.m. on September 22, 2017 at least 10 percent of the electors
in the whole municipality sign an elector response form opposing the implementation of the proposal unless the municipal council/regional district board holds a vote.
As we now know, this did not happen. I have posted the full minutes of the July 27th city council meeting here.