23 November 2009

People want their green space

Survey shows majority are against commercial development of agriculture land

The Burns Bog Conservation Society recently sent out a survey in response to the proposed commercial development at 10555 – 64 avenue at the 64th & Highway 91 interchange in Delta. The results indicating a mass objection to the plan, not surprising to the Society, will however cause some concern to developers. Hundreds of surveys were returned to the Society stating people’s opposition to the plan, in addition to their intention of bringing up such opinions to their local government officials.

Currently zoned as agricultural land, this area has been proposed by EarthKing Investments Ltd. to be re-zoned to allow for retail, office and industrial spaces. The potential development has raised a lot of concerns amongst concerned citizens and environmentalists alike. The area is located within Burns Bog, a globally unique ecosystem and the “lungs of the lower mainland,” keeping massive amounts of carbon out of the atmosphere. It is also within close proximity to many residential neighborhoods. As the survey results indicate, many people are concerned about the increase in traffic, loss of green space, and destruction of the bog the development will inevitably cause.

“We have lived in the area for 18+ years and moved here because of the ‘green areas’ and do not want this property rezoned,” says Peter Jakes, a Delta resident. Peter is one of many area residents who strongly oppose the development. For them, it is a personal issue. As Deborah Jones says, “we taxpayers have spent a lot of money trying to preserve Burns Bog. It’s galling and tragic to see our huge environmental investment put at risk due to the greed of a few individuals.”

The people are worried. They are worried about the implications the development will bring. They are also worried that their concerns are not being addressed. As one survey respondent asks, “will the government ever get the message that Burns Bog is worth saving and that the people of this community want it (all of it) saved?!”

Though developers continue on with the application process for re-zoning, one thing is for certain: the land will not be re-zoned easily as many people have already banded together, taking action against the proposal. With passion, J. Baker concludes, “the land will not be given up without a fight.”

If you would like to have a say, write a letter to Delta Council. Be sure to also copy in Burns Bog Conservation Society. Visit http://www.burnsbog.org/ for more information.

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