Surrey City Hall. (File photo)

Surrey City Hall. (File photo)

Surrey council approves five more highrises for downtown

Speakers at public hearing express concern over more traffic, density

Surrey city council gave the nod Monday night to two large housing developments featuring five highrise towers in the city’s downtown.

The first, at 10240 City Parkway, features a highrise tower containing 215 residential rental units, 168 residential market units and roughly 8,615 square metres of commercial, office and institutional space. The owner of this project is GEC Education Mega Centre Inc.

Councillor Brenda Locke asked if it’s reserved for student housing. “We are desperate for student housing in Surrey,” she said.

According to city staff, the applicant has indicated it will market the units primarily to students, but the housing agreement will not require that it be exclusively for students, only that it be rental housing.

Council gave it three reading approval following a public hearing Monday during which Fleetwood resident Richard Landale argued that an additional 468 vehicles will “spill onto” City Parkway, 102nd Avenue and onto King George Boulevard as a result of this development. “Where is the traffic impact study and the assessment for all these traffic volumes?” he asked.

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Debbie Johnstone noted the development will add hundreds of residents to Surrey. “I am concerned over the huge imbalance happening right now between densification and our public safety.”

Meantime, a proposal by Bluesky Properties (Brightside) to develop four highrise buildings and two low-rise buildings – at 13583 104th Ave., 13550 and 13526 105 Ave. and 10460 City Parkway – with the first phase featuring a 38-storey residential tower containing 373 dwelling units as well as commercial space on the ground floor, won final approval with Councillor Steven Pettigrew opposing.

“I want to make sure that the appropriate infrastructure is in place and I don’t feel comfortable with some of these applications that are increasing the density without increasing the appropriate ratios,” he said.

Prior to the vote, Fleetwood resident Linda Ypenburg said at the public hearing she is “adamantly opposed” to this development, arguing Surrey doesn’t have sufficient infrastructure, hospitals, schools, police or firefighters to handle the growing population.

Annie Kaps asked council where “all these people” are going to park.

“Our streets already get so packed with cars,” she said.

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