Minutes, February 12 2015 meeting

FRASER HEIGHTS COMMUNITY ASSOCIATION MINUTES
February 12, 2015

President’s report
• Web site – www.fhca.ca
• Lindsay Ryerson, President
• FHCA is a volunteer organization – we volunteer our time to represent the community
• The FHCA gathers four times a year to discuss issues that affect our community
• FHCA helps shape policy and issues that involve our community
• If you have problems in our community, please send your information to us and we will look into these issues (go to Contact Us on the fhca.ca website). This is our primary site to collect comments from residents about community issues so we know about them and can send them on to the City.
• If you are not currently on the email list, go to our website and sign up. You will receive four notifications and four reminders of the upcoming meetings per year.

Treasurer’s report
• Financial statement – total account balance is $3,718.47

RCMP update on safety and security – District Commander/ Sergeant Paul Reshaur – he can be reached at paul.reshaur@rcmp-grc.gc.ca.
• If you don’t report crimes in Fraser Heights, there will be no record of them so police can’t track the criminals/hot spots of activity. Call the Non-Emergency RCMP number 604-599-0502 about any incidents, no matter how small they seem. You can also make reports using the new Surrey app called Surrey Request for emergency and non-emergency issues. This app has a link to the RCMP emergency and non-emergency numbers.
• Two representatives from the RCMP attended our meeting – Heather Paradis, our crime prevention coordinator (heather.paradis@rcmp-grc.gc.ca) and Corporal Bryan Tepper (bryan.tepper@rcmp-grc.gc.ca) (who has filled in for Sergeant Paul Reshaur when he has been unable to attend). Please note – Bryan was being transferred to the White Rock detachment so this was his last time attending our meetings. Many thanks to Bryan for all the information he’s provided us with.
• The 9 Break and Enters (B&Es) in FH in January were scattered throughout FH, mainly from 160 to 168 Streets. We are part of District 2 which has had a lower crime rate than most of the rest of Surrey.
• Whalley/Newton area has had the most B & Es in Surrey
• The Red Alert gang has been causing the most havoc – they look for houses with no one home and are especially looking for jewelry and cash. Warning – do not keep large amounts of these in your homes). This gang does not worry about alarms as they are able to get in and out in minutes.
• Commercial B&Es – only 2 in FH in January
• There had been a lot of criminal activity around 174 St and 104 Ave in the past few weeks. The residents were trying to get a Block Watch set up
• Commissionaires are now spread throughout the City. Every Fri/Sat they patrol the whole of District 2, especially the Guildford area, and they also come to FH. They have been patrolling behind the Esso gas station and have reported illicit activity.
• Quite a few arrests were made Dec to Jan (about 15 to 16) but, unfortunately, these criminals don’t stay in jail for long before they are back on the streets.
• Mailbox thefts have been happening all over Surrey – the number is way up but it is lower in FH than elsewhere in Surrey. Remember to pick up mail every day so there won’t be anything in the box to steal, should they break into your mailbox. If residents go on holidays, get Canada Post to put a hold on your mail so mail won’t be delivered to your box but will be kept at the depot.
• Wherever possible, switch to electronic mail/banking
• If you were expecting mail that didn’t show up, check with sender to see if and when it was sent.
• Canada Post is trying to solve the problem by installing the newer mailboxes.
• Most thefts are overnight. Get to know when your mail is delivered, and pick it up as soon after delivery as possible.
• There are some PO boxes at local Post Office depots – for a monthly fee, you can get your mail delivered there
• If you are expecting a new credit card, pick it up at your bank, don’t have it delivered
• The post office has stated that some people empty their boxes once a week –the thieves break into the whole community mailbox looking for boxes like this.
• There have been cases where the entire mailboxes were yanked out of their footings and taken away by thieves to break into elsewhere.
• If you notice your mailbox has been compromised, remember to report to Canada Post as well as to the RCMP by either phoning the non-emergency number or reporting it online. Matthew at Nina Grewal’s office also keeps track of the mailbox thefts and passes this information onto Canada Post.
• There was a request to post pictures of criminals in the local papers. The RCMP used to do this with the most wanted criminals but have not done so for a few years. If you’d like to see the return of the most wanted criminals, write a letter to Supt Bill Fordy – he will respond. The more people that request this, the more likely the mug shots will return.
• Transition homes – there was/is only 1 in FH – no real problems reported from it yet
• Surrey has a High Risk Location Task Force that investigates these homes to see if any bylaws are broken. If they have been, Bylaws will shut them down. The Court costs, bylaw infraction costs, nuisance costs etc. are charged to landlords/owners via their taxes.
• Mike Starchuk, City council member, attended our meeting. He explained that a bylaw is being developed so that all these homes have to be registered in Victoria. A Business license will be required and these residences must comply with fire department regulations. A lot of these homes are good. Mike said we want the number of homes to reflect our population, not be a dumping ground for the other Cities’ populations.
• 5 people attending tonight’s meeting had suffered theft from their cars and/or their cars had been stolen (sometimes to be used for further crime). There is more theft from cars than car theft. The thieves walk through neighbourhoods and try all the car doors. If unlocked, they rifle through the cars and take whatever they can find.
• Don’t leave any valuables in your car (take them into your house with you or put them in your trunk). Do not even leave small pocket change as it is an enticement for the thieves. Put a sign in car that there are no valuables in car (Heather Paradis had a brochure that folded out with a sign “all valuables have been removed”). Some people leave their glove boxes open and empty.
• Theft of autos – down in FH but it is up in every other area – there were 10 in FH. Most of them had no antitheft devices. Honda Civics or higher-end cars (especially those brought here from elsewhere were the cars most frequently stolen.
• Anything vehicle made in 2002 or earlier is the most susceptible to being stolen. Get a good immobilizer to protect your vehicles.
• Check your license plates regularly to make sure they are your plates as thieves may take them from your car to put on stolen vehicles then switch the plates so your vehicle gets the plates from the stolen vehicle (which is usually a similar make of car).
• Don’t warm your car up or leave your car running with keys hanging in the ignition.
• You can keep a photocopy of your insurance papers in your car with address etc. blacked out and keep the originals in your trunk. If you leave the originals in the car, the thieves then will have your address, know you are not at home and can break into your house (especially if the garage opener is also in the car).

Development:
• 15560 109 Ave – The FHCA wrote a letter to City Planning regarding the protection of trees on this property
• 15685 106A Ave
• 16540 and 16582 Parkview Place
• 16609 102
• 16616 Parkview Place
• Most of these development applications are requesting increased density – if anyone has concerns, they can email City Planning

Traffic issues:
• CN noise – in the yard and the yard heading east – whistles at 104 Ave, 179 St and 182A st, and soon at 177A street
• Noise from the rail yard is amplified throughout FH as the east end on a hillside is an amphitheatre
• Intersection 108/156 – roundabout/lights – open house 2 months ago and community input. No strong opposition so appears that is what they’ll go with. Lead engineer is currently away. Land acquisition issue but is being re-evaluated – just minor acquisition. Those people have not been approached yet.

Members Concerns/Announcements:
• 168 Street/108 Ave – why is there no sidewalk? It was noted that the developers usually address that while doing a building project. Once the houses have been built, there is less chance of getting it done. Write the City about this issue as they may be able to address it.
• How often does City repave the roads (104 Ave needs to be fixed)? Every time developers put in houses, the road had to be dug up to install sewers. This has caused 104 Ave to have spots that are lower than the road – like reverse speed bumps.
• No further information has been published regarding the commercial development at 104 Ave and 156 Street that will include a Save On Foods
• There is no pull-off lane for buses heading east bound on 104 Ave so this can back traffic up. It is also a safety issue for the passengers getting off the buses. The lighting around that area is quite poor and it is difficult to see pedestrians at nighttime. The FHCA is investigating, and meeting with the City on this item with the goal of having proper bus stops built and lighting added.
• It was reported that there has been a 15% increase in traffic on 104 Ave due to the South Perimeter Road – need traffic calming/stop signs?
• Something needs to be done at the intersection of 104 Ave and 164 Street. It is only a matter of time before there are fatalities there. A very serious T-bone accident occurred a few days before the meeting. Pedestrians take their lives in their hands to cross 104 Ave at 156 Street.
• Residents would like the ditch filled in at the entrance to Northview Park (on 156 Street between 110 and 111). Vehicles belonging to residents across the street are parking at the entrance to the park and along 156 Street on the west side where the ditch is, making the road very narrow.

Next Meeting will be Wednesday, May 6, 2015 in the theatre at Fraser Heights Secondary School at 7 p.m.