Hotly contested Sullivan development gets council nod

Opponents say the housing development will put further strain on area's already overcrowded schools.

Cindy Dalglish

A controversial development for Sullivan is going ahead, despite public outrage that it would further strain overcrowded schools in the area.

Surrey council has endorsed a plan to forge ahead with a Redekop Homes development slated for 5750 Panorama (just northwest of Highway 10 and 152 Street).

It is the proposed location of 181 townhomes and 106 apartments, as well as commercial developments.

Nearby residents are fed up and say area elementary and secondary schools are over capacity as it is.

More than 100 people packed an information session at the YMCA in May, the vast majority voicing opposition to the project.

In June, Surrey council sent the development back to staff after a public hearing.

It came before council again on Monday (July 25), and it passed, with restrictions on how quickly the project is built.

The developer will have to work with the Surrey School District to make sure the project doesn’t bring a huge influx of students to the area.

Cindy Dalglish, who runs the website southnewtoncommunity.com, has long said Sullivan schools cannot meet the needs of the existing population, let alone those coming by way of new developments.

The school district agrees and passed a motion in April asking for a moratorium on development in Clayton, Grandview/South Surrey and Newton until new schools are built.

The City of Surrey declined.

Dalglish said Tuesday she feels terrible that the project was passed by council on Monday.

She said the developer, city and school district haven’t done their due diligence in preparing for what is coming.

Emily Watson, manager of demographics and facilities planning with the Surrey School District, told council there are several developments occurring in Newton and the district needs to prepare for all of them.

It’s important, she said, to know what’s coming so planning can take place.

“The phasing of this development certainly does help us with planning for the enrolment demand,” Watson told council at the Monday land use meeting.

Council also was eager to have the purpose-built rental housing, but wanted assurances from the developer that it wouldn’t be changed to strata in the near future.

A housing agreement to that effect has been added to the requirements, but a sunset clause has not yet been determined on it.

The first phase of the Redekop home development will be complete in September 2018.

The application passed with only Coun. Dave Woods opposed.