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Grandview ‘different from other areas’
More than 150 people came to examine maps and information panels – and ask questions – at a public open house on the Grandview Heights 4 Neighborhood Concept Plan at Cloverdale’s Shannon Hall last week.
According to Stantec Consulting’s John Steil – one of those busy answering questions from the public during the opening hour of the meeting – the mood Wednesday evening was more curious than combative.
“For some people, it’s an introduction,” he said, noting the proposed plan for the 201-hectare (497-acre) area, stretching from 176 Street to 184 Street between 20 Avenue and 32 Avenue is “quite different from other neighborhoods.”
This was the second public open house on the now-revised plan, he said (the first was in May 2011) and an opportunity to show a draft ‘preferred land-use plan’ for the area, developed as a result of feedback from residents and input from the citizens’ advisory committee, city staff and consultants.
“We’ve been working with the citizens’ advisory committee over the last three years on this, so there should be no surprises (about public reaction),” he said.
Because of the environmental sensitivity of the area – which abuts the Agricultural Land Reserve and is home to wildlife, stream networks and acres of protected trees – the plan calls for the preservation of a wildlife corridor and hub, plus provision of parks, watercourse areas and other green space, in addition to careful transitioning from high density residential development to low density.
Cost of acquiring the wildlife corridor and the other green space has been estimated at $45 million, which city staff hope to pay for with a levy for builders of between $9,600 and $14,000 per dwelling.
That aspect of the plan has already met with positive reaction from Deb Jack, president of Surrey Environmental Partners.
SEP member Steve Chitty was one of a number of people at the open house who live outside the area but are curious about the precedents Grandview 4 may set for future development.
While he notes the plan has come a long way in addressing environmental concerns, there must still be questions about what this level of development will mean for the area and for Surrey as a whole.
“I’m concerned about development out this way and what kind of transportation will support it,” he said. “There’s obviously some big money behind it.”
Bhargav Parghi, a senior planner with the city, said Friday the meeting went well.
“There were not too many big questions that emerged,” he said.
Residents have until Feb. 28 to return feedback forms distributed at the open house, or voice comments and concerns through the city website for the plan, www.surrey.ca/GHNCP4