Steve Pettigrew was vocal, along with other Hawthorne Park opponents, during the City of Surrey’s public meeting at Riverdale elementary on Wednesday evening. (Trevor Beggs)

Opponents vocal as Surrey staff hold public meeting on Hawthorne Park project

City staff set up a gymnasium full of billboards and they listened to the public’s input

Following their decision to approve the Hawthorne Park project, the City of Surrey decided to host a public meeting at Riverdale elementary on Wednesday evening.

While members of the public partook in the meeting to see what the city had to offer, opponents were also out in full force.

One opponent had seen enough of what the city had to offer.

“Once you destroy the earth, there’s no putting it back,” said opponent Sharon Buzik.

What’s going on in there makes me sick to my stomach,” she said. “I had to leave, I couldn’t take much more.”

SEE ALSO: Is there a Plan B for Surrey’s Hawthorne Park?

With about ten staff members on hand, the city answered questions about a couple dozen billboards that were up in the school’s gymnasium.

“We’re here tonight to gather some input and show some information that we already received through our first Hawthorne Park master plan,” said City of Surrey parks manager, Neal Aven.

“Having the public’s input is important to us,” he said. “It’s vital to hear what they have to say, and they’ve given some good input tonight.”

SEE ALSO: Emotions high after Surrey approves controversial road through Hawthorne Park

While the city did their best to answer questions from the public, opponents of the project weren’t happy with the format the city chose to express their plans for the project.

“We wanted to have a town hall type meeting,” said opponent Grant Rice. “The fact that this is the way that the city has decided to go is pretty disappointing.”

Instead of having their voices heard by city councillors, opponents instead bantered with members of the city staff.

Not all of the reaction was negative, however.

Aven mentioned that he received ‘positive input’ on a couple of tweaks to the Hawthorne Park project, including relocation of the parking area along with upgrading and relocating the playground and water park.

There were about 50 people in the gymnasium at one time throughout the evening, with people trickling in and out of the school. Many of the opponents made sure to have their voices heard, and they were visible with ‘Save Hawthorne Park’ badges stuck to their chests.

One of those sporting a badge was vocal opponent Steve Pettigrew. He believes that not everything coming out of city hall regarding Hawthorne Park is completely honest.

“There is a blanket of misinformation,” he said. “It’s a real mess.”

Pettigrew mentions the city’s plans for how many trees they plan on cutting down, versus how many trees they plan to grow. He says that in the city’s reports, the only trees they mention cutting down are ones over 30 centimetres wide.

However, Pettigrew says when it comes to city mentioning new trees that they will plant, they don’t take size into account.

In Pettigrew’s mind, the public meeting put on by the City of Surrey on Wednesday night doesn’t make up for some of the fallacies of the project.

“It doesn’t change anything, I’m very much concerned,” he said. “They’re gonna start knocking down trees in a month, but they haven’t finished all of the preparation.”

“They haven’t worked things out with Hjorth (Road) Elementary. There are also three properties in Hawthorne Park that haven’t been acquired yet.”

“Funding also hasn’t been taken care of. And, they haven’t finished their environmental report.”

“In spite of they, they still want to start building this road in the second week of January.”

It has been a long, hard fight for Pettigrew and many others, and their frustration was evident tonight.

“We have a lot of people involved of this,” said Pettigrew. “In spite of all of that, it doesn’t matter. What’s going on tonight doesn’t change anything.”



trevor.beggs@surreynowleader.com

Like us on Facebook and follow Trevor on Twitter

Hawthorne ParkSurrey Archives

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Surrey shootings ends city’s hiatus from violence since outset of pandemic

So far this year there have been 24 shootings in Surrey. There were 45 in 2019

South Surrey banner drop marks Global Day of Action

Fridays for Future effort targeted four city overpasses

UPDATE: NDP asks Elections BC to investigate Liberal voter fraud allegations in Surrey-Fleetwood

Liberal MLA candidate for Surrey-Fleetwood Garry Thind issued a written statement Wednesday afternoon

Bellingham boater fined $1,000 for violation of Quarantine Act

49-year-old man entered Canada to visit girlfriend in Surrey

Delta police launch drone program

Drones can fly day or night in a variety of weather to help Delta police and firefighters

B.C. counts 125 new COVID-19 cases, up to 1,284 active

No new deaths or health care facility outbreaks

Health Canada green-lights rapid COVID-19 test

Health Canada approved the BCube test from Hyris Ltd. in the United Kingdom Sept. 23

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

FINLAYSON: COVID-related job losses concentrated in urban areas… especially Metro Vancouver

The biggest job losses, in absolute terms, have been in Metro Vancouver

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

6 puppies rescued in mass seizure on Princeton farm die from illness: BC SPCA

Of the 97 distressed horses, cats and dogs seized, most of the puppies suffered from parvo

Action demanded over death of First Nations youth in Abbotsford group home

Family and Indigenous organizations push for thorough investigation

More sex abuse charges laid against B.C. man who went by ‘Doctor Ray Gaglardi’

Investigators now focussing efforts on alleged victims within the Glad Tidings Church community

B.C. VOTES 2020: Businesses now owe $6 billion in deferred tax payments

COVID-19 relief from remittance to province ends with September

Most Read