Renderings show what a planned Walmart warehouse and distribution facility in South Surrey is to look like. ( Coviensky Architect photo)

Renderings show what a planned Walmart warehouse and distribution facility in South Surrey is to look like. ( Coviensky Architect photo)

Surrey council backs Walmart warehouse in Campbell Heights

Coun. Steven Pettigrew casts sole opposing vote

A warehouse and distribution facility proposed by Walmart is to be built in South Surrey’s Campbell Heights business park after receiving support from Surrey council Monday.

All but one councillor voted in favour of authorizing the execution of development and development variance permits for the 296,000-sq-ft project slated for 27 acres at 19500 26 Ave.

The same level of support (7-1, with Coun. Jack Hundial absent) was recorded for providing consent for Surrey City Development Corporation to enter into an $11.4-million contract with B&B Contracting Group for Phase 1 of land servicing of that lot as well as the neighbouring parcel at 19475 26 Ave.

According to a corporate report, the scope of servicing work “will include road and site works, storm, sanitary, water, hydro/telephone and landscape works.”

“Initiating this servicing contract in April 2019 will allow SCDC to meet their obligations for servicing the Phase 1 Lands and produce a site available for Walmart to commence construction in late 2019,” the report states.

In opposing the consent for servicing, Coun. Steven Pettigrew cited concerns over tree loss.

“I will not be supporting this project because of all the thousands of trees being cut down in Campbell Heights East by the city as they clear the land for development,” he said.

“I’m not against the Walmart being built and as a Metro director, I realize there is a need for industrial lands and an increase in industrial lands, but in hindsight perhaps Option B could have been selected, and the facility could still have been built. We could have saved almost half the trees.”

Pettigrew was also the sole opposing vote last month, when the Walmart proposal got a preliminary nod during a March 11 land-use meeting.

READ MORE: Councillor balks at ‘wholesale destruction’ of trees for South Surrey Walmart warehouse

At that time, he cited the volume of variances sought – which included an increase in maximum building height (to 25.5 metres from 14 m), a reduction in required on-site parking spaces (to 266 from 299) and an increase in the maximum number of spaces for truck and trailer parking (to 268 from 78) – and the “wholesale destruction of thousands of unprotected trees.”

In opposing the permits Monday, Pettigrew did not comment further.

Walmart Canada announced last July that it intended to invest $175 million into the South Surrey project, which would operate as a frozen-grocery facility distributing to more than 60 B.C. markets.

READ MORE: Walmart investing $175 million in Surrey frozen grocery facility

It’s estimated that the facility would employ 120 “high skilled workers” for the “ongoing operation and maintenance of the automated systems within the facility.”

Over the long-term, Walmart Canada expects it to create 200 jobs.

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