A proposal to re-designate a patch of employment lands in South Surrey for residential use raised the ire of one speaker at a public hearing on the matter July 12.
In addressing council about a seniors’ campus eyed for 228 175A St., Sarah Rush told elected officials that when it comes to employment lands in the city, “a clear line and a clear policy” is needed.
“The City of Surrey shows no consistency with regards to employment lands,” said Rush, a South Surrey resident and member of Friends of Hazelmere-Campbell Valley. “It seems when it is applying to go into green-filled sites outside of the urban containment boundary, we hear the cries of needing employment lands, laments that Surrey is short of employment lands.
“Yet here we are converting employment lands to residential.”
Rush was referring to the city’s efforts to re-designate 600 acres of land in South Campbell Heights, south of 20 Avenue, for employment use. Opponents to the plan contend there are plenty of other areas in Surrey where such use would be more appropriate and pose less risk to sensitive habitat.
For the seniors’ campus proposal, Isle of Mann Group asked for amendments to facilitate construction of 39 townhouse units, 77 apartments and a care facility with 86 assisted-living units and 96 care rooms. As well, 1,890 square metres of commercial/office space is sought for the site, which is located not far from the Pacific Highway border crossing.
The re-designation ultimately received third reading, with Coun. Steven Pettigrew opposed. The application goes next to Metro Vancouver for consideration of an amendment to the Regional Growth Strategy, to complete the entire site’s designation as ‘general urban.’
Zoning bylaw amendments were also supported.
Rush told council during the public hearing that if they support the application, it “means you will vote against item R147 (the South Campbell Heights plan) which asks to go into (sensitive) ecological area to create employment lands.”
“You have to decide which it is and not keep changing your mind at your own discretion.”
Other speakers at the public hearing expressed concern with the proposed location, stating it is too far from hospitals and too close to a major trucking highway.
Shortly after supporting the Isle of Mann project, council voted to also move the South Campbell Heights proposal forward.
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