Surrey residents and other interested parties are invited to share their feedback on a rezoning proposal with a goal to build nearly 500 new townhouses on a property in South Surrey.
A public hearing will be held Monday afternoon, Aug. 8 regarding an application to amend the Official Community Plan to allow for the construction of 482 townhouses on a site that spans from Highway 99 to 168 Street, south of 12 Avenue.
The land in question sits directly across Highway 99 from the former Pacific Inn (Pink Palace), south of the Fergus Watershed Biodiversity Preserve and northwest of the Meridian Hills par 3 golf course.
The applicant is seeking to have the general land-use designation changed from Mixed Employment to Multiple Residential “and amend … Major Employment Areas by removing the Mixed Employment designation for the subject site,” according to a notice of public hearing issued by the City of Surrey.
“The proposal also includes rezoning the site from One-Acre Residential Zone to Multiple Residential 30 Zone, in order to develop 482 townhouse units on the subject site.”
The project has already received a thumbs-down from the Surrey Board of Trade, which registered its opposition in a media release Monday morning.
“The Surrey Board of Trade is supportive of housing developments, but this project is going to take away important employment lands from Surrey,” said SBOT president and CEO Anita Huberman.
“The application needs to be referred back to city staff to work with the applicant to develop a proposal that complies with the OCP and the Highway 99 Corridor Local Area Plan (LAP) because the proposal is a significant departure from the policies identified in the City of Surrey Official Community Plan, the Highway 99 Corridor Local Area Plan and the Surrey Employment Lands Strategy.”
She said that while SBOT generally supports more housing to combat the undersupply crisis currently being experienced in the Lower Mainland, “we need a balance between employment and homes.”
A new development proposal needs to come forward to comply with the Mixed Employment designation in the OCP, she suggested, which would create jobs in a commercial/business park orientation that would include office, service, warehouse and distribution centre, and retail uses.
“The protection of employment lands needs to be a key objective of the City of Surrey,” Huberman said.
The applicant is also seeking a development variance permit, which would reduce the minimum setbacks on all four sides of each unit, with the size of the proposed reductions ranging from 1.5 metres to three metres.
The public hearing will begin at 1 p.m. in council chambers at Surrey City Hall, 13450 104 Ave. It will also be live-streamed at www.surrey.ca