16500-block of 24 Avenue. (Google image)

16500-block of 24 Avenue. (Google image)

Council pushes forward applications for 400-plus dwellings in South Surrey

Loss of trees, pressure on schools cited by public, council members as areas of concern

City of Surrey council approved a number of zoning bylaws after a public hearing Monday (Jan. 11), allowing for more than 400 new dwellings to be built in the South Surrey area.

The largest rezoning application approved by council was for a proposal to build a 194-townhouse development in the 16500 block of 24 Avenue.

The applicant received third reading to rezone the site, which involves nine addresses, from a one-acre residential zone to a multi-family residential zone.

During the public hearing, council heard from a number of Surrey residents who dialed into the Zoom meeting to voice their opposition.

Reoccurring concerns raised by Surrey residents were the planned removal of trees and the additional pressure the new development could place on the already-stressed school system.

READ ALSO: Endangered pigeon habitat threated by South Surrey development, residents fear

An arborist’s assessment states that there are a total of 279 mature trees on the site, excluding alder and cottonwood trees. Alders and cottonwoods account for approximately 35 per cent of the total number of trees on the site, equalling 153 existing trees.

The assessment determined that 70 trees can be retained as part of the development proposal. For trees that cannot be retained, the applicant will be required to replace them at a one-to-one ratio for alder and cottonwood and at a two-to-one ratio for all other species.

“This will require a total of 572 replacement trees on the site. Since only 377 replacement trees can be accommodated on the site, the deficit of 195 replacement trees will require a cash-in-lieu payment of $78,000, representing $400 per tree, to the Green City Fund,” the report noted.

As for student projections, the Surrey School District stated in the report that, out of the 194 proposed townhomes, the project will add approximately 49 students to Pacific Heights Elementary and 31 students to Earl Marriott Secondary.

“To relieve the pressure at Earl Marriott, a new 1,500 capacity high school, Grandview Heights Secondary, located at 26 Ave. next to the existing Pacific Heights Elementary is under construction; and is targeted to open for September 2021,” the report notes.

The report from Surrey School District said that the newly-opened Edgewood Elementary School, located at 16666 23 Ave., will reduce the existing Pacific Heights catchment area by almost half. However, the 10-year projection indicates that the growth trend will continue to be strong and Pacific Heights Elementary will surpass 100 per cent occupancy by 2024, even with a smaller catchment area.

RELATED: New South Surrey elementary school opens on 23 Avenue

SEE ALSO: Surrey tree protection bylaw tougher but environmentalist calls for more

“I will not be supporting this,” Coun. Steven Pettigrew told council. “The main reason, of course, is the environment. There’s too much of a tree loss, a massive clear-cut… I cannot support this application with that much desecration to the environment.”

Coun. Brenda Locke echoed Pettigrew’s objection, adding that pressure on schools is also a concern.

Coun. Jack Hundial also expressed his opposition, citing growing pressure on schools.

During the public hearing, one resident suggested that seniors would not move into the townhouses because of mobility challenges with stairs, and that the properties would be too expensive for first-time buyers.

Coun. Allison Patton made note of the comments, but disagreed.

“This area is not really suitable for them,” Patton said, adding that seniors “really like living where they can walk to everything.”

“It doesn’t mean they couldn’t be there, but they like being right where all the stores are.”

Patton also noted the demand for residential construction, saying, “we need housing.”

Mayor Doug McCallum gave council a pat on the back for doing a “good job” with school development before supporting the application.

“You can’t build schools in a year, often, so a lot of the new schools is a result of this council pushing the school board and working with the provincial government to get these new schools built with the development that’s coming. That’s the way we’re co-ordinating our development,” McCallum said.

The re-zoning was approved with Locke, Pettigrew and Hundial opposed.

Other re-zoning applications approved by council at the meeting included five addresses near the 3300-block of King George Boulevard for three apartment buildings, standing five to six storeys high. The buildings are to house 163 units and nine townhouses.

Another re-zoning application, for a five-storey, 48-unit apartment building at 5660 177B St., was also approved.



aaron.hinks@peacearchnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

City of Surreydevelopment

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

In a letter to Fraser Health board chair Jim Sinclair and president and CEO Dr. Victoria Lee Jan. 28, Delta Mayor George Harvie pitched the City of Delta become the lease holder of the Harold and Veronica Savage Centre for Supportive Care building after it is vacated by the Delta Hospice Society. (The Canadian Press photo)
Delta Hospice Society must vacate premises by March 29: Fraser Health

The health authority served the society a notice of breach of lease on Feb. 25

RCMP are looking for “an unknown man who wrapped his arms around” a female youth in Clayton Feb. 26. (Black Press file photo)
Youth assaulted by unknown man in Cloverdale

Mounties looking for ‘tall and thin’ Caucasian man in his 40’s with short dark brown hair

Framed photos of Travis Selje and other items fill the top of a dresser in his bedroom. (Photo: Tom Zillich)
Crown says defence case epilepsy caused fatal Surrey crash fails on balance of probabilities

‘She very clearly had some form of control over that vehicle,’ Crown argues

Alex Browne photo The felling of two mature Douglas Fir ‘eagle trees’ on Oxford Street, just south of Prospect Avenue, in June of 2019, prompted a review of tree management bylaws and policies now before White Rock council. The trees were felled on instructions from City of White Rock staff, who said the work was necessary because they had become hazardous. (File photo)
City of White Rock mulls ‘tree protection’ bylaw

More stringent measures needed to protect canopy – councillor

teeaser
Surrey TEDx talks move online with ‘fast-paced’ event that’s free to watch March 27

Last year’s TEDxBearCreekPark attracted 900 spectators to Bell theatre

Dr. Bonnie Henry leaves the podium after talking about the next steps in B.C.’s COVID-19 Immunization Plan during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, January 22, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
COVID: 589 new cases in B.C., and 7 new deaths

No new outbreaks being reported Feb. 26

Staff from the Marine Mammal Rescue Centre, passersby, RCMP and Nanaimo Fire Rescue carried a sick 300-kilogram steller sea lion up the steep bluff at Invermere Beach in north Nanaimo in an attempt to save the animal’s life Thursday. (Photo courtesy Marine Mammal Rescue Centre)
300-kilogram sea lion muscled up from B.C. beach in rescue attempt

Animal dies despite efforts of Nanaimo marine mammal rescue team, emergency personnel and bystanders

Gina Adams as she works on her latest piece titled ‘Undying Love’. (Submitted photo)
‘Toothless’ the kitty inspires B.C. wood carver to break out the chainsaw

Inspired by plight of a toothless cat, Gina Adams offers proceeds from her artwork to help animals

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson presents bill to delay B.C.’s budget as late as April 30, and allow further spending before that, B.C. legislature, Dec. 8, 2020. (Hansard TV)
How big is B.C.’s COVID-19 deficit? We’ll find out April 20

More borrowing expected as pandemic enters second year

Passengers aboard Komagata Maru in Vancouver’s Burrard Inlet, 1914 - Library and Archives Canada image
Abbotsford council is asked to rename street in memory of Komagata Maru victims

Most of 376 the passengers aboard ship were denied entry into Canada in 1914

The first of 11 Dash 8 Q400 aircraft's have arrived in Abbotsford. Conair Group Inc. will soon transform them into firefighting airtankers. (Submitted)
Abbotsford’s Conair begins airtanker transformation

Aerial firefighting company creating Q400AT airtanker in advance of local forest fire season

The Canada Revenue Agency says there were 32 tax fraud convictions across the country between April 2019 and March 2020. (Pixabay)
Vancouver man sentenced to 29 months, fined $645K for tax evasion, forgery

Michael Sholz reportedly forged documents to support ineligible tax credits linked to homeownership

Then-Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson looks on as MLA Shirley Bond answers questions during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria. (Chad Hipolito / THE CANADIAN PRESS)
B.C. Liberal party to choose next leader in February 2022

Candidates have until Nov. 30 to declare whether they are running

After nearly 10 months of investigations, Mounties have made an arrest in the tripping of an elderly woman in Burnaby this past April. (RCMP handout)
VIDEO: Mounties charge suspect for tripping elderly woman near Metrotown in April

32-year-old Hayun Song is accused of causing bodily harm to an 84-year-old using her walker

Most Read