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LETTERS: Semiahmoo Town Centre will adversely affect residents if built as planned



Local residents can now view the proposed final Semiahmoo Town Centre Plan at (and search for it). It is expected to be considered by Surrey City Council on Monday, Jan. 31.

We, the Semiahmoo Residents Association (, and, support many of the plan’s policies, especially those that add services and amenities for the area and promote greening. However, we fear that without changes, it will not produce the special, attractive centre we are all looking for, and that the high-rise form of its commercial centre will adversely impact on existing residential areas.

In particular:

There should be a maximum building height of 12 storeys, as now in uptown White Rock. This final Plan proposes heights from 28 storeys at 16 Avenue, down to 20 storeys at 18 Avenue/Martin Drive, and 12 storeys in the so-called transitional mid-rise area. If you live nearby, these towers could be overlooking you and cutting off your sunlight.

More (and sooner) should also be done to address climate change; the town centre could be a pilot project for building “green” at lower heights.

Proper urban design studies should be done for the commercial core that would locate and shape towers where they fit best in the public interest. These should include consideration of alternative development forms to high-rises.

Traffic and road improvements should be addressed immediately to relieve congestion now.

Perhaps residents should be asked if they really want 12, 20, or 28 storey buildings.

There will be no Public Hearing for this important document, so the only way for residents to make comments to Mayor and Council now is via email to We encourage you to do so!

Rosemary Zelinka, Vice-President Semiahmoo Residents Association