A community group’s attempt to stop the extension of 84th Avenue in Surrey has been rejected by the Supreme Court of British Columbia, and the city’s mayor says the project will proceed “immediately”.

Friends of Bear Creek Park and the Force of Nature Society sued the city in an effort to stop the project, which would connect two currently separate portions of 84 Avenue by extending the causeway through the southern portion of Bear Creek Park.

Mayor Doug McCallum and councilors from his Safe Surrey Coalition say the extension between 140th Street and King George Boulevard is necessary to relieve traffic pressure in nearby areas, such as the intersection of King George Boulevard and from 88th Ave.

Opponents of the project say the road will disrupt the park’s ecosystem, including two salmon streams. They also argue that the city failed to engage in adequate public consultation before council approved the plan.

In a decision rendered on December 30, Judge Sheila Tucker noted that the City of Surrey had been considering expanding 84th Avenue “on and off” since the late 1980s, but the issue before her was council’s resolution approving the latest proposal.

“The causeway is a controversial issue in Surrey,” Tucker wrote in his decision.

“That said, the petition does not imply the wisdom, necessity or advisability of building the causeway,” she wrote. “The only question posed by the petition is a legal one – does the resolution authorize encroachments that are legally impermissible?”

Tucker concluded that the groups lacked standing to bring their claims to court. She also ruled that while the group had standing to allege breach of trust by the city, no such breach occurred.

McCallum welcomed the judge’s decision in a press release on Friday, saying the court had ruled that Surrey was “fully within its rights to sue” and that the city would start building the road “immediately”.

“Safe Surrey Coalition-led City Council approved this project in July, largely due to heavy congestion on 88th Avenue and King George Boulevard,” McCallum said in the statement.

“For many years this has been Surrey’s most dangerous intersection for motor vehicle collisions. The 84th Avenue extension will provide a safe, convenient and reliable alternative connection between Newton and Fleetwood which will reduce the pressure at the aforementioned junction.”

In their own statement, Friends of Bear Creek Park and the Force of Nature Society expressed their disappointment and frustration with the court’s decision.

Bear Creek Friends organized a protest to the park on New Year’s Day to voice their continued opposition to the project.

“We knew this was going to be an uphill battle from the start,” Sebastian Sajda, Force of Nature president and organizer at Friends of Bear Creek Park, said in the groups statement.

“It was essential that we try. We believe this route is bad policy and that position has not changed.”



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