A Surrey Councillor wants the city to buy up more green space for parks.

Massive park purchase proposal to be explored by Surrey

Coun. Bob Bose wants the public to decide purchase of green space at fall referendum.

Surrey staff are exploring the idea that the city purchase up to 600 acres of property for parkland.

The idea was brought forward Monday night by Coun. Bob Bose, who wants the city to preserve some of the more ecologically sensitive areas identified in a green master plan.

Bose said the most important parts of the Ecosystem Management Study cannot be achieved within Surrey’s existing parkland acquisition program. He said that ”time is of the essence if these lands are not to be given up to development pressure.”

Bose wants the issue put to public referendum in time for the Nov. 19 civic election.

Coun. Barinder Rasode said Bose’s motion raised more questions than it provided answers.

Foremost on her mind was how much property would be required, where it is located, and who would be footing the bill for it?

In the latter case, she said, it would likely be the taxpayers. And if Bose’s estimates of between 200 and 600 acres are accurate, Rasode says residents would be facing a 20 per cent tax hike to pay for it. That would amount to about $260 for the owner of the average home in Surrey valued at $531,000.

The amount of the tax increase is an extremely rough estimate because it’s unknown how much land the city would be required to buy.

Rasode said she’s a bit bothered that the initiative is being brought forward so late, with very little time to educate council, let alone the public, which would ultimately be deciding the issue by referendum.

It’s expected a staff report will be back before council after the August break, likely by Sept. 12.

Bose said the notion of securing the land will allow Surrey to become a better place.

”Surrey is in a unique position to be a better kind of city,” Bose said. ”But we need a strategy and we need a mandate from the people.”

@diakiw

 

Just Posted

Rockslide closes Coquihalla northbound

Highway 5 is closed in both directions according to DriveBC

Langley’s Tardi takes gold in junior national curling competition

Four local boys are on their way to Scotland after winning their second Canadian title in as many years.

Langley junior curling champs defend title in Quebec

Defeat of their cousin’s team has secured Tardi brothers and the rest of the team in today’s finals.

ZYTARUK: Only the truth, and nothing but

Lying hurts all of us. You, me, them. All of us.

Gear swap in Langley helps make ball hockey more accessible for kids

A new initiative allows parents to empty garages of unused equipment and get new kids in the sport.

REPLAY: B.C. this week in video

In case you missed it, here’s a look at replay-worthy highlights from across the province this week

Philadelphia Eagles headed to Super Bowl

After routing the Minnesota Vikings 38-7, they will face Tom Brady and the New England Patriots

Heavy snowfall closes Mount Washington on Vancouver Island

Road to ski resort deemed unsafe, vehicles buried under more than three feet of snow

VIDEO: Dramatic video shows return of rescued B.C. snowboarders

Two snowboarders were rescued near Rossland, B.C. on Sunday after being lost overnight.

Tom Brady leads Patriots back to Super Bowl, top Jaguars 24-20

New England to face winner of Sunday night’s game between Minnesota and Philadelphia on Feb. 4

Coquihalla drivers prepare for snow

Wintry conditions persist, with snow warnings for Coquihalla

Liberals quietly tap experts to write new paternity leave rules

Ideas include creating an entirely new leave benefit similar to one that exists in Quebec

Insurers say Canadian weather getting hotter, wetter and weirder

Average number of days with heavy rain or snow across Canada has been outside norm since spring 2013

Final phase of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy trials to kick off in B.C.

Doctors hope to get psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy legalized in Canada and the U.S. by 2021

Most Read