South Surrey towers vote pushed back

Architect Patrick Cotter presents his vision at a Dec. 4 open house.  - Alex Browne photo
Architect Patrick Cotter presents his vision at a Dec. 4 open house.
— image credit: Alex Browne photo

An initial council vote on a contentious South Surrey residential highrise/arts amenity project has been postponed.

In an email to area resident Kristen Smith, Surrey senior planner Ron Gill said first and second readings of the bylaw – originally scheduled for the Jan. 13 council meeting – have been put on hold.

The city needs “more time to continue our application review process and to continue to receive feedback from the public,” he writes.

As yet, there is no word on new dates for first and second readings for the two-tower project, proposed for 152 Street and 19 Avenue, in which the city – through the Surrey City Development Corporation – is a major developing partner with the Reifel Cooke Group.

Cotter Architects, which is designing the project, had been expecting a public hearing on Feb. 3,  provided first and second readings passed this month.

The 328-unit development – which would stand the equivalent of 27 storeys at its highest point – has been designed to include the shell of a 350-seat theatre/performing arts centre, and would also provide space for a contemporary arts café gallery.

Opponents – including members of the Semiahmoo Residents Association and Smith – claim the development would be too much for a neighbourhood in which traffic congestion and inadequate access is already a concern, and that it would impact views, cast shadows over surrounding residential development and reduce property values.

Proponents claim the development would actually improve traffic flow and access through extension of existing roads and would provide a much-needed arts-oriented core that could increase surrounding property values.

The project is in keeping with city plans for the area, which allow for “landmark” highrises.



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