A major land developer who has built millions of dollars worth of condominiums in Whalley will be watching carefully what impact a 40-bed emergency shelter will have on his residential projects.
Charan Sethi is president of the Tien Sher Group of Companies, which has built four four-storey condominium buildings containing 472 suites. The Quattro buildings are two short blocks away from where the shelter will open.
Sethi, who has been a driving force in the effort to make Whalley's downtown a better place to live, is nervous.
"Of course I'm concerned, if things go out of control," he said. "We still have to deal with these people. They need to go somewhere."
But, Sethi added, proper measures need to be put in place to contain it so people aren't running around with shopping carts.
Surrey Mayor Dianne Watts said the shelter, at 10708 136A St., will open soon.
"It's not permanent," she said.
Watts said the shelter, which will provide homeless people with a place to stay in bad winter weather, will be re-evaluated in the spring. It's expected to stay open until May.
Watts said there was no requirement for public consultation on the opening of the shelter because it's temporary and "we (council) are not changing any land use."
Meantime, Sethi said he will sit on a social planning committee that will consider the impact the shelter has on the area.
"I've been asked to be on the committee," he said. "I want to make sure I get to say my piece." firstname.lastname@example.org