Introduction: Don Hunt: Thanked everyone for coming out. Recognized John Cummins and Guy Gentner, local politicians who are in attendance.
Delsom Lands - Steve Bailey & Jill Gillett: The last Proposal was rejected by council in June 2005. The developers began a new process in October 2005. Four possible options were displayed in December 2005. On January 27, 2006, Polygon applied for a change to the Official Community Plan. Delta's Director of Planning will submit a report, proposing a framework for a Delta-led public consultation, to Council, on February 13, 2006. The area is now called Sunstone by the developers.
South Fraser Perimeter Road - Don Hunt: Gateway phoned to clarify points from our flyer - Delta Council is again receiving the draft reports from the Environmental Assessment Office. As well, Gateway phoned this morning to say that the offramps in the Sunbury area have definitely been removed from the plan. We'll have to watch this issue closely.
Don gave a summary of the route as he understands it so far. An overpass over the BNSF rail tracks at Centre & River Road would be 25 feet high. The overpass will descend to the bank above the cannery.
Brian White spoke about the impact on property values of the four lane highway through Sunbury. With a major highway on the north and Nordel Way on the south, the neighbourhood is at risk of being transformed into an industrial park over time. The impact on property values will be significant. Properties close to the highway stand to be devalued by 50%. Properties behind those will face a 25% decrease in value. Gateway's plan for noise mitigation is an eight foot high fence, further damaging views. The railway is considering doubling the tracks so the highway will have to be placed further south and higher up the bank. (A neighbour said he had heard the double track proposal was only for the Colebrook area).
There is a $300 Million cost overrun allowance in the Provincial Government's announcement of Jan 31, 2006. The proposal for a tunnel under North Delta would cost an estimated $200 Million extra and would save the river front and the neighbourhood from being blacktopped and polluted with diesel exhaust.
Pat Lavery talked about the impacts on our neighbourhood.
Don Hunt talked about the Tunnel option for the South Fraser road. Tunnels are being built around the world as a way to protect the environment and neighbourhoods while moving traffic efficiently.
A 3.5 kilometre tunnel from Elevator Road to Nordel Way with three bores would allow the railway to be moved off the rivershore, creating a strip park and waterfront access.
Greg Hoover spoke about the Hoover Nass proposal - www.thereisanotherway.com . Hoover Nass is cheaper, faster and safer than the Gateway proposal. There is no expropriation of residential properties required.
There is no plan for improvements to tunnel on Highway 99 north to Richmond for forty years. Trucks should be banned from the Deas Island Tunnel. The weigh stations at the tunnel and Nordel should be closed and a new weigh station and inspection station could be built south of Highway 99 at the intersection with Highway 91.
Greater Vancouver Gateway Council - a collection of corporations and associations that wants Greater Vancouver to become the Gateway of Choice for North America. - Chair is Captain Houston of the Vancouver Port Authority.
Top ten reasons Delta should support Hoover Nass:
10 - No Train Whistles - overpasses and tunnels
9 - No more farms bisected - follows the train tracks
8 - No penetration of Burns Bog - need flow of water from North Delta Escarpment into Bog
7 - No Northbound trucks in the tunnel from the port or ferries
6 - No homes would be touched
5 - No semi-trucks except local deliveries on Highway 17 - None.
4 - No semi-trucks except local deliveries on Ladner Trunk
3 - No damage to Delta's roads from trucks going to ferries or ports.
2 - No truck / car accidents with trucks going to ports and ferries.
1 - No more injuries or fatalities for S.Delta residents in traffic with trucks towards ferries and ports.
Frank Driscoll of the Burns Bog Society spoke about the impact of the South Fraser Perimeter Road construction on the bog. The Bog Society's main priority is to ensure no harm done to the bog. Governments spent $70 Million to acquire most of the bog and protect it. They don't know how Gateway will get construction approval because of the impacts on the bog.
1. ICBC has a lot of influence on road design. Have they been consulted on the benefits of the tunnel and routes proposed?
2. Why would Burlington Northern move their rails to a tunnel? The association has attempted to talk to BNSF, but they have refused to talk to us so far.
3. It seems like Hoover Nass moves all traffic away from Highway 17 and into North Delta. Can we work further to identify the North Delta impacts and changes that would reduce North Delta impacts? Absolutely, says Hoover. The most important thing is to be clear to Gateway, to Kevin Falcon, to the Federal Government that the current Gateway proposal is NOT GOOD. DON'T FUND IT!
4. These proposals have been presented to neighbours over the past 20 years and every time objections are raised by neighbours they say that changes cannot be made.
5. The largest tunnel in North America, under the Charles River in Boston, cost $14 Billion. It was built because the community decided that it was the best option for their community. It is up to us to tell governments that a tunnel is the best option.
John Cummins, MP for Delta, spoke about protecting the neighbourhood of North Delta and South Delta. It is important that the public funding be spent wisely. If the highway goes along the riverbank, the community is impacted in so many negative ways that must be costed. This is a fight about our neighbourhoods in North Delta, in Ladner and in South Delta. We must fight to protect our neighbourhoods. All of Canada is benefiting from these Port and Highway expansions. He commits to ensuring that federal funding goes to the proper proposal.
Guy Gentner, MLA for North Delta, spoke about protecting neighbourhoods. The Fraser River is a Heritage River and must be protected from the highway. We must protect the ravines and wild areas along the River Shore. To win the fight, you will have to get together and be creative and be loud.
Burlington Northern's head office is in the states - they don't have much interest in our neighbourhood. One neighbour did talk to someone at BNSF who stated they were not happy about the highway proposal.
Don Hunt thanked everyone who came out - over 200 people - and asked for help in getting our message to the people who can make a difference - Provincial and Federal politicians.