Surrey city councillor opposes redevelopment of pet cemetery

A Surrey city councillor is speaking up against a proposal to redevelop a pet cemetery in the city’s Newton neighbourhood.

A Surrey city councillor is speaking up against a proposal to redevelop a pet cemetery in the city’s Newton neighbourhood.

The proposal would see three homes built on the land, but Linda Annis tells CityNews that the cemeteries should not be dug up.

“People’s pets are there,” she said. “People have bought spaces for their beloved pets and put headstones, and they think that this is their pets’ forever home,” she said. “And for a bulldozer to be coming in and ripping up these graves to me is just not on.”

Annis says the cemetery goes back to the 1950s. In the 1990s, a tract of land in the area that contained more than 20 homes was redeveloped, but a portion of it was set aside with a covenant that it be used as a pet cemetery.

This covenant was removed in 2010, she says.

“I believe that the owners of the property were hoping that it would become a park or that a not-for-profit would take over the cemetery,” she said. “Unfortunately, that didn’t happen.”

She says the site may even have human remains in it.

“We saw grave markers with human names on it,” she said. “I don’t know what is in there or whether it’s ashes or what it is.”

The proposal still needs to be approved by the city’s planning department.

Annis says if locals would like to oppose the plan, they can reach out to city hall or the developers of the land.

With files from David Nadalini.

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