Surrey City Hall. (File photo)

Surrey City Hall. (File photo)

Spike in Surrey project approvals means ‘a lot of money coming in,’ Elford says

‘We’re in a huge growth period,’ Surrey Councillor Doug Elford says

Surrey has seen a significant run on residential development lately, particularly in the form of high-rise towers in the city centre.

Three major developments in Whalley were before council during the Dec. 7 public hearing, the first featuring two high-rise towers, at 10662 King George Boulevard and 10677 Whalley Boulevard, where King Rise Developments Ltd. seeks to build 1,019 residential dwelling units and 731 square metres of commercial floor space.

The second is in the 13400-block of 105A Avenue, the 10500-block of University Drive, the 10500-block of 134A Street and 13437 105th Avenue, where 105 University View Homes Ltd. proposes to develop two high-rise residential towers and a mid-rise rental apartment building with a child care centre at ground level.

Meantime, Yorktown 108 Development Corp. proposes to build a pair of six-storey apartment buildings containing 193 dwelling units in the 13800-block of 108th Avenue.

These development proposals passed third reading later in the meeting. During the public hearing, held digitally, a couple of callers raised concern about Surrey firefighters having sufficient manpower to be able to properly tackle fires at these highrises. Ramona Kaptyn, who intends to run as a Surrey Connect candidate for council in the next civic election, said she’s “very concerned about the the lack of firefighters for all these high-rises that are going up.”

Resident Annie Kaps echoed that.

“There’s not one person just living in them,” Kaps noted. “What are you doing for our fire services for these high-rises. How in the world are they even going to service a fire in a higher storey? It’s just, you go for all these developments but you’re not doing the support services.”

The city’s budget for 2021, approved by council on Dec. 7, will see 10 more firefighters hired in the new year to help meet service demands in North Surrey and the city’s downtown.

“We’re going to assign them to a station in the north, we haven’t finished our deployment analysis on the actual location where they’re going to be but it’s going to add another truck to the cadre of trucks in the north, in that services for downtown area,” Surrey Fire Chief Larry Thomas told the Now-Leader.

homelessphoto

Surrey Fire Chief Larry Thomas. (Surrey Fire Service photo)

Thomas noted there are “very low” fire rates in modern high-rises because they are “fire protection engineered with the most modern systems, so the problems typically aren’t as big as a regular house fire.

“We do have adequate resources to meet that,” he said. “It’s when you get multiple calls at the same time is where we would need extra resources and we’re just not experiencing that. We do monitor our performance on a regular basis and if performance was to dip because the demands were too great, specific to high-rise fires, it would be my job to advocate for additions to staff.”

Looking ahead, Councillor Doug Elford told the Now-Leader before the meeting that he predicts a “lot more” office tower proposals will be coming before council. “We have a positive government now, provincially, that in a sense they’re building schools and working on catching up, which helps.”

“We’re in a huge growth period,” Elford said. “All these projects that we’re approving downtown, from what I understand, I’ve been told by the experts, are selling out, literally selling out.

“When you’re in that sweet spot, they come to us, it’s not like we’re out hustling for business, right, they’re coming to us,” Elford said. “From what I understand there’s more on the way and I honestly think the SkyTrain to Langley is going to, you’ll see a migration of large corporations pop up out here because everybody lives out here, right.”

homelessphoto

Councillor Doug Elford. (File photo: Amy Reid)

At recent council meetings, following a public hearing, council approved a development at 10138 Whalley Blvd. featuring three high-rise residential towers – a 23-storey building and the other two 32 and 39 floors – as well as two 13-storey mid-rise market residential towers, a six-storey apartment building and ground-level retail space including a cafe and daycare.

READ ALSO: Surrey council gives nod to numerous towers, townhouses

READ ALSO: Surrey’s Legion Veteran Village to get 91 affordable housing units, B.C. government says

READ ALSO: Surrey to get 10 more firefighters under proposed city budget

It also gave the nod to a 38-storey tower with 392 units at 9644 and 9656 King George Blvd., to a five-and-six-storey apartment development at 6595-196th St., a four-storey mixed use building with retail, office space and 21 residential units at 7168-192 St., three four-storey apartment buildings with 261 units in the 13700-block of 76th Avenue and 75A Avenue, and a 31-storey high-rise residential tower containing 293 apartments, five townhouse units and a separate four-storey commercial building at 9644 and 9656 King George Blvd.

Elford says it’s a different story for other Canadian cities and their councils.

“They have the fear of God in their eyes,” he said. “They don’t know where they’re going to get, how they’re going to run their cities. They don’t have the same kind of encouraging development; their industries are shutting down, their workers are migrating out of their towns, they’re worried about how they’re going to plow the snow in the following season, right, where with us, there’s a lot of money coming in.

“With all these huge developments comes money for fire halls and amenities and things like that as well,” Elford said. “Money in the bank.”

Also approved were a five-storey apartment building with 65 dwelling units and underground parking in the 14200-block of 103A Avenue, two high-rise residential towers with 1,014 dwelling units on City Parkway, 134A Street and 105A Avenue, and two six-storey apartment buildings with 173 dwelling units in the 13900-block of 96th Avenue and 13900-block of Laurel Drive.

Councillor Steven Pettigrew said he’s concerned about the clear-cutting of trees to make way for development. “I’m cocnerned about the type of density that’s happening,” he said. “I’m concerned about what effect the density is going to have on future populations.”



tom.zytaruk@surreynowleader.com

Like us on Facebook and follow Tom on Twitter

City of Surrey

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The Surrey Board of Trade is calling on the provincial government to implement a temporary paid sick-leave program. (Unsplash.com photo by Kelly Sikkema)
Surrey Board of Trade calls for temporary paid sick-leave program

Reccomendations sent to provincial labour minister, news release notes

Low tide offered plenty of space for people to relax on White Rock's beach Sunday afternoon. (Aaron Hinks photo)
City of White Rock asking outside visitors to stay away

South Surrey residents encouraged to visit, while others urged to stick close to home

North Surrey Sport and Ice Complex. (Photo: larkgroup.com)
North Surrey Sport & Ice Complex earns B.C. facility excellence award

Award is among four presented by BC Recreation and Parks Association

Surrey Central SkyTrain Station. (Photo: Tom Zytaruk)
Suspect accused of ‘abhorrent’ assaults at Surrey SkyTrain stations

Transit Police say assaults were on April 9, 14 and 17

Closing down the west-bound lane of Marine Drive to allow increased patio space for restaurants and a larger walkway for pedestrians would be a challenging and costly measure, according to a city staff report. (Aaron Hinks photo)
White Rock City council, BIA to further mull Marine Drive one-way

Businesses contend that challenges of measure can be mitigated

Jose Marchand prepares Pfizer COVID-19 vaccination doses at a mobile clinic for members of First Nations and their partners, in Montreal, Friday, April 30, 2021. The National Advisory Committee on Immunization is coming under fire after contradicting the advice Canadians have been receiving for weeks to take the first vaccine against COVID-19 that they’re offered. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Trudeau says he is glad he got AstraZeneca, vaccines are only way out of pandemic

‘The most important thing is to get vaccinated with the first vaccine offered to you’

B.C.’s provincial health officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Dip in COVID-19 cases with 572 newly announced in B.C.

No new deaths have been reported but hospitalized patients are up to 481, with 161 being treated in intensive care

Ripy Jubbal of Abbotsford has received a 30-month jail sentence for the fraudulent use of credit cards and credit card data. (Facebook photo)
Abbotsford woman sentenced for $80K in fraudulent credit card purchases

Ripy Jubbal and spouse used identities of 19 different victims, court hears

Solar panels on a parking garage at the University of B.C. will be used to separate water into oxygen and hydrogen, the latter captured to supply a vehicle filling station. (UBC video)
UBC parkade project to use solar energy for hydrogen vehicles

Demonstration project gets $5.6M in low-carbon fuel credits

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

FILE – A student arrives at school as teachers dressed in red participate in a solidarity march to raise awareness about cases of COVID-19 at Ecole Woodward Hill Elementary School, in Surrey, B.C., on Tuesday, February 23, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. ‘should be able to’ offer 1st dose of COVID vaccine to kids 12+ by end of June: Henry

Health Canada authorized the vaccine for younger teens this morning

A woman in the Harrison Mills area was attacked by a cougar on Tuesday, May 4. B.C. Conservation Officers killed two male cougars in the area; the attack was determined to be predatory in nature. (File photo)
2 cougars killed following attack on woman in Agassiz area

Attack victim remains in hospital in stable condition

A woman wears a face mask and shield to curb the spread of COVID-19 while walking in North Vancouver, B.C., on Wednesday, January 6, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. CDC updates info, acknowledging small respiratory droplets can spread COVID-19

Large droplets, not aerosols had been fixture of public health messaging for many months

Most Read