‘Leave our park alone’

Plan to pave part of Bear Creek Park for a parking lot gets a cool reception from area residents

Site of a parking lot expansion that stretches into Bear Creek Park.

Site of a parking lot expansion that stretches into Bear Creek Park.

A plan to pave part of Bear Creek Park has nearby residents warning the city to keep its hands off their green space.

A meeting will be held tonight (Thursday) at the Bear Creek Pavilion to gauge the mood of the public on the proposed plan.

So far, residents are not enthused with the idea.

“Leave our park alone,” said local resident George Zaklan. “It’s not what’s best for us (individually), or what’s best for us as a city.”

The proposed new parking stalls would be located west of an existing parking lot, carving into Bear Creek Park to make room for 100 more parking stalls.

The stalls would be on the west side of 140 Street, near 84 Avenue, between a Sikh gurdwara and a Hindu temple.

“It’s part of the south end of Bear Creek Park,” said Surrey parks manager Owen Croy. “It would be a shared parking lot, where it would be available to park patrons,” as well as people using the two temples.

It’s hoped the extra parking will take pressure from nearby neighbourhoods that get packed with traffic during special events at the temples and the park.

The public meeting on the proposal is tonight (Thursday), at 6:30 p.m. at the Bear Creek Pavilion, which is inside the park at 13750 88 Ave.

Staff recommendations from the meeting may first go to the parks committee, and then to council for a decision.

Coun. Linda Hepner, chair of the parks committee, said the idea didn’t come from her group, but an shirtsleeve meeting of city council, when she was not present.

“I would not have supported this to start with,” Hepner said, adding she’s had about a dozen calls from people. “I’ve only gotten ‘what on Earth are you thinking?’ responses, which is where I would have put it to start with.”