Three Langley Township councillors took a tour of a controversial proposed truck park in Surrey near the Langley border on Wednesday afternoon. From left: Brian Coote from Friends of Hazelmere Valley

‘More than a former gravel pit’

Langley Township councillors tour site proposed for controversial commercial truck park

Critics of a proposed 77-acre commercial truck park on the Surrey-Langley border say the site is more than just a former gravel pit.

They made their case Wednesday afternoon to a group of Langley Township councillors who took a tour of the location at 16 Avenue and 194 Street near the Little Campbell River.

The visit by Langley Couns. Kim Richter, Petrina Arnason and David Davis was arranged by Brian Coote of the Friends of Hazelmere/Campbell Valley group, along with David Riley from the Little Campbell Watershed Society and Kirk Stevenson, who lives beside the proposed facility on 16 Avenue, near the Langley-Surrey border.

Langley senior long-range planner Russell Nelson also attended.

Coote said the organizers did not invite Surrey councillors to the tour, because they doubted they would attend.

They might issue an invitation another time, he added.

Coote told the Township council members that it was wrong to describe the site as a “discarded gravel-extraction pit.”

Roughly half of the site is actually farm land, the result of landscape restoration work on the gravel pit once the digging was finished.

“It’s agricultural land, productive land,” Coote said.

The land has been used as a working farm to raise llamas, Stevenson said.

The other half of the site is still an active excavation, but it is supposed to be filled in once it’s been completely emptied, the critics said.

Stevenson, who lives in one of several houses that overlook the filled-in site, said the parking project poses a safety threat.

“No one wants to live next to that (traffic generated by the big rig parking lot),” Stevenson told Peace Arch News’ sister-paper, The Langley Times. “I’ve got four kids under nine, riding their bikes around.”

The councillors also heard from Riley, who said contamination from the trucks could damage the Little Campbell River and contaminate groundwater in Langley’s Brookswood neighbourhood.

Riley said the “shallow, unconfined aquifer” under the site could be at risk.

Langley councillors who attended appeared to share the critics’ concerns.

“I get that parking them by a river is not a good place to put trucks,” Richter said.

The facility has been proposed by GG Metro Holdings Ltd.

It is supported by the BC Trucking Association, Surrey Board of Trade and  Surrey Coun. Tom Gill, who says with an estimated 1,300 big rigs parking illegally throughout the city, something needs to be done to find parking spaces.

The truck park would allow truckers to wash their rigs, change oil and tires, and would include washroom facilities.

Gill said he would insist on the highest environmental standards, and Parm Garcha, one of the project’s proponents, told PAN earlier this month that he will not proceed unless all concerns are addressed.

The development plan would have to undergo a public hearing before it could come to council for approval.

Coote told The Times the opponents of the project were “not at all” reassured to hear that Surrey councillors have told their Langley counterparts that the project probably won’t proceed.

The comments were made during an informal dinner in a late-October meeting of the two councils.

– with files from Tracy Holmes & Kevin Diakiw

Just Posted

Security camera records hatchet attack on Langley store owner

Target escaped uninjured, but was ‘upset’ by incident

Extreme weather alert issued for rain-soaked Langley

Homeless who are sleeping outside urged to seek shelter at Sateway of Hope facility in Langley

VIDEO: Vancouver Giants blank Cougars 4-0

Goaltender David Tendeck turned aside all 38 Prince George shots for his WHL-leading third shutout

Aldergrove Library goes retro with technology event

Vintage technologies such as LPs, rotary phones will be spotlighted at Retro Tech Tryout.

Teen with cancer whose viral video urged Canadians to vote has died, uncle tweets

Maddison Yetman had been looking forward to voting in her first federal election since junior high school

VIDEO: Collision in Surrey breaks axle off SUV

Two people were reportedly sent to hospital

Rowing Canada, UVic investigate celebrated coach for harassment, abuse

Lily Copeland says she felt intimidated and trapped by Williams

Cleanup in the works after tanker truck fire leads to oil spill in B.C.’s Peace region

The province said the majority of the spilled oil likely burned away in the fire.

BC VIEWS: Action needed on healthcare workplace violence

While we’ve been talking about it, the number of B.C. victims has only grown

Closing arguments begin in B.C. case launched in 2009 over private health care

Dr. Day said he illegally opened the Cambie Surgery Centre in 1996 in order to create more operating-room time

MacLean says “Coach’s Corner is no more” following Cherry’s dismissal from Hockey Night

Cherry had singled out new immigrants in for not honouring Canada’s veterans and fallen soldiers

MacKinnon powers Avs to 5-4 OT win over Canucks

Vancouver battled back late to pick up single point

Most Read