City of Surrey council are expected to vote Monday evening on the controversial Semiahmoo Town Centre plan.
City staff are presenting a report to council for approval of Stage 2 of the plan. The regular council meeting kicks off at 7 p.m., Jan. 31.
Stage 2 provides an “updated vision” for the “civic and cultural heart of South Surrey,” including land use concepts, parks and open space networks, road and transportation networks, engineering strategy, and a financing strategy.
The plan sets residential tower height limits of 28-storeys near the 152 Street and 16 Avenue intersection. If approved, the plan allows for a mix of 20- to 28-storey buildings on the Semiahmoo Shopping Centre and Save-On-Foods properties, which is considered the centre of the plan. Heights gradually decrease the further away they are from the centre.
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Heights have been a primary concern from some residents in the area. Sunlight reductions, traffic density, and the removal of commercial buildings has also been voiced as a concern.
The Semiahmoo Residents Association, which is made of residents local to the area, said while it supports many of the plan’s policies, “it will not produce the special, attractive centre we are all looking for.”
The association says the maximum building height should be 12 storeys, not 28. The association also suggested that the town centre could be a pilot project for building “green” at lower heights.
Semiahmoo Town Centre is comprised of approximately 136 hectares. The plan area is generally bound by 24 Avenue to the north, 16 Avenue to the south, the Semiahmoo Trail and an existing open space network to the west, and 154 Street and Earl Marriott Secondary to the east.