UPDATE: Metro Vancouver’s board of directors, after more than five hours of delegations and debate, has voted in favour of moving Surrey’s request to redesignate lands in South Campbell Heights for employment use forward. The supported recommendation included to direct staff to notify and seek comment from local First Nations on the proposed amendment prior to consideration of fourth reading, which is anticipated in January, 2022.
(Original story below)
Metro Vancouver’s board of directors is to consider today (Oct. 29) the City of Surrey’s request to redesignate land in South Campbell Heights for employment use.
The request, essentially, is to re-designate approximately 242 hectares on the South Surrey-Langley Township border – including 160.8 ha of that as employment lands – and extend the urban containment boundary (UCB) by 223.7 ha.
As well, it seeks to re-designate 13.4 ha of mixed employment lands within the UCB to conservation and recreation.
The area is bounded by 20 Avenue to the north, 196 Street to the east, 8 Avenue to the south and approximately 186 Street to the west.
It is outside of the agricultural land reserve, sits atop the Brookswood aquifer and encompasses 72 properties.
Surrey council in July – following a six-hour public hearing – authorized staff to submit the regional growth strategy and regional context statement amendment application to the Metro board, and on Oct. 8, Metro’s regional planning committee voted – with four directors opposed – to move it forward.
Proponents have said the redesignation will address the region’s industrial-land shortage, create thousands of jobs and millions in tax revenue, and that “every reasonable measure has and will be taken” to ensure responsible development.
Opponents maintain that not enough study has been done on the impacts to environment, species at risk and human health. As well, they say the plan goes against what Semiahmoo First Nation has been working towards to restore the Little Campbell River and surrounding area.
The SFN, many opponents have noted, were not engaged in conversations with city staff regarding the land-use amendment plan – a point that was acknowledged during the Oct. 8 meeting, with support for an amendment suggested by chair Jonathan Coté, to provide direction to Metro staff to refer to local First Nations for comment.
According to the agenda for today’s meeting, the board is to consider: initiating the process for amending the land-use designation and extending the urban containment boundary; first, second and third reading of the amendment bylaw; directing staff to notify and seek comment from affected local governments; and directing staff to notify and seek comment from local First Nations.
Given that the application targets an area identified in Metro 2040 as a Special Study Area – reflecting the city’s intent to seek future land-use change – only a 50-per-cent-plus-one weighted vote is required for the board to move it forward.
Today’s meeting is scheduled to get underway at 9 a.m. To access the livestream, visit metrovancouver.org/boards/webcast/Pages/default.aspx
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