A development proposed for 18788 72 Avenue, 7151 and 7111 188 Street includes three five-storey mixed-use buildings and 31 townhouses. (City of Surrey)

UPDATE: ‘Absurdly dense’ projects approved for booming Clayton neighbourhood

Latest developments join list of projects near new school, future community centre

Two more large developments in a booming Clayton neighbourhood passed third reading at Monday night’s city council meeting (July 22).

Each project, located on the same block, proposes more than 100 residential units. Each are within close proximity to several other large scale residential projects currently in the works in the neighbourhood, which is adjacent to the new Salish Secondary high school and the future Clayton Community Centre.

The first application is to build a five-storey mixed-use building and a four-storey apartment building at 18758 and 18742 72 Avenue. It requires an amendment of the Official Community Plan to rezone the commercial property to multiple residential, and to rezone a one-acre residential zone to a comprehensive development zone. It would provide 108 total residential units and 12,917 square feet of ground-floor commercial space.

Five elementary students and five high school students are projected from this development. These students would attend Hazelgrove Elementary, which is operating at 166 per cent capacity, and Clayton Heights Secondary, which operates at 110 per cent capacity. The city report notes that two new 650-capacity schools, Maddaugh Road Elementary and Regent Road Elementary will open in September 2021 and January 2022.

Of the 59 existed trees on site, all would be removed. A total of 122 replacement trees would be planted, and the developer would be required to give $1,600 to the Green City Fund.

The second Cloverdale development at public hearing on Monday night was a proposal to develop three five-storey mixed-use buildings and 31 townhouses at 18788 72 Avenue, 7151 and 7111 188 Street.

It requires an amendment to the Official Community Plan to change the area from commercial to multiple residential. The development would include a total of 118 residential units and 31 townhouses, as well as 18,576 square feet of ground-floor commercial space.

Projected students from this development are noted as 14 for Hazelgrove Elementary and 10 for Clayton Heights Secondary. All of the mature trees on site, numbering 56 total, would be removed for the project. The developer proposes planting 149 replacement trees.

Both of the Clayton developments are nearby several others that are in the works, including a 71-unit townhouse project at 18455 72 Avenue; a 95-unit townhouse development at 7327 184 Street, 18365, 18343, 18317 73 Avenue; an 83-unit townhouse project at 18611 72 Avenue; a 96 townhouse and 71 apartment project at 18855 and 18805 72 Avenue; and 166 townhouses proposed for 18738, 18726 and 18702 74 Avenue.

In December 2018, city council referred the last two of those townhouse developments in the rapidly growing neighbourhood back to staff over school capacity concerns.

Chris Pighin, a neighbour who represents a nearby strata council, told council Monday night that both applications raised concerns in the neighbourhood, as the addition of hundreds of housing units brings with it infrastructure concerns, including transit, parking and school overcrowding.

The proposal is “absurdly dense,” he said. “We can’t handle what we have now. It’s already becoming an issue for our schools.”

“I know the current council rode a platform into office on smart proposals and densification and I’m asking for that consideration [here],” he said, pointing to Surrey Safe Coalition’s campaign promise of “Smart Development.”

Pighin thanked Hub Engineering, the consultant for the projects, for coming to the meeting, but said he doubted they lived in the area and could “appreciate the impact” of the density firsthand.

“I live there,” he said. “It’s deflating to see these projects come in, one after the other, when just down the street [we have] the same problems going on [with other developments.”

Mary-Em Waddington, who ran for school board in the last civic election, spoke out on the “catastrophic overcrowding” in area schools. She noted that, when taking into account other units from ongoing projects in the area, there are a total of 465 units being added to one intersection. The infrastructure is not in place to support that, she said.

Neighbour Natasha Royer also spoke out, this time on traffic volumes along an already busy street.

Mike Kompter, a representative of Hub Engineering, who consulted on both developments, noted that the application processes for the developments had been launched in 2014 and 2016, and that the neighbourhood concept plan already sectioned the properties as “commercial mixed use, and that’s what’s being proposed tonight.”

He pointed to years of work with city staff on the project to do consultations, including a traffic study.

Both of the applications passed third reading, with councillors Stephen Pettigrew, Brenda Locke and Jack Hundial voting against. They were concerned with, respectively, clear-cutting, school overcrowding, and density.



editor@cloverdalereporter.com

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