A new zoning bylaw designed to place a limit on the size and height of homes in the Kwomais Point Park neighborhood of South Surrey is moving forward to public hearing on Sept. 28.
The bylaw, created in response to a petition from neighbourhood residents, was given first and second readings at Surrey Council’s Sept. 14 meeting.
In the petition, presented to Surrey’s Planning and Development department in May, residents argued that such a move is necessary to preserve the character of the neighborhood – and particularly the large trees there.
The bylaw would switch 148 lots in the neighborhood from single family residential (RF) zoning to a comprehensive development (CD) zone – a move which would reduce the maximum size and height of houses permitted in the area.
The petitioners said that 55 per cent of owners of the 148 lots were in favour of the change, although staff have also heard from owners who purchased their lots with the expectation of being able to build to RF limits, and question what such rezoning will do to their property values.
A staff report received by council said a follow-up public information meeting held in July at Ocean Park Hall made it clear there is a strong neighborhood desire to protect trees.
In the report general manager of planning Jean Lamontagne said residents had commented that “the trees provide an ‘oasis’ on individual lots, a sense of nature and privacy from surrounding homes.”
“Residents suggested a stronger penalty for illegally cut trees, adjusting lot coverage and setbacks, downsizing houses, and replacing trees with trees that retain the character of the neighborhood.”
Some 107 surveys sent out to owners by the city had been returned as of Sept. 8, the report said, and of these, 79 per cent were in favour of the zoning and 21 per cent were opposed.
The proposed zoning change would bring down the height of a sloped-roof house from 30 feet to 22 feet (measured to halfway up the roof) and limit the height of a house with a steeply-sloped roof to 26.5 feet (measured to the roof peak).
For houses with less sloping roofs the maximum height would drop from 24 feet to the top of the roof to 23.3 feet.
Maximum height of ‘accessory’ buildings on each property would be limited to no more than 16.5 feet.
The zoning change would also reduce the floor area ratio (FAR) for all buildings, and stipulate that 420 square feet be reserved for garage or carport use only.