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

Pixabay image
Surrey recovers 29,000 jobs it lost to pandemic

That’s according to Surrey Board of Trade’s fifth Surrey Labour Market Intelligence Report on COVID-19

Desmond Tompkins helped curate and host a youth art show at the South Surrey/White Rock Learning Centre. (Contributed photo)
South Surrey/White Rock Learning Centre art show highlights ‘diverse perspectives’

With COVID-19 protocols in place, youth art show underway

RCMP Isp. Benoit Maure (top right) has written a book, Leading at the Edge, which details Canadian peacekeeping missions, including his own 1999 mission in Guatemala (bottom right). (Contributed photos)
Longtime RCMP officer pens book on Canadian peacekeeping efforts

RCMP Insp. Benoit Maure’s new book, Leading at the Edge, features stories from 10 missions

The SACH Community Hub team, from left to right: Upkar Singh Tatlay, Gary Thandi, Allysha Ram, Jassy Pandher, Harman Pander. (Submitted photo)
There’s help for South Asian men wrestling with drug addiction in Surrey

South Asian deaths related to toxic drugs increased by 255 per cent between 2015 and 2018

Crews with Discovery Channel film as an Aggressive Towing driver moves a Grumman S2F Tracker aircraft around a 90-degree turn from its compound and onto the road on Saturday, Jan. 23, 2021. It was the “most difficult” part of the move for the airplane, one organizer said. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: Vintage military plane gets towed from Chilliwack to Greater Victoria

Grumman CP-121 Tracker’s eventual home the British Columbia Aviation Museum on Vancouver Island

The Independent Investigations Office of BC (IIO) is looking into the death of man discovered Jan. 11 in east Maple Ridge. (Black Press files)
B.C.’s police watchdog investigating man’s death in Maple Ridge

Man was found dead Jan. 11 after recent contact with police

Chilliwack Law Courts. (Black Press file)
Man sentenced to 20 months for sexual offences involving a minor in Mission

Will Laws Clark was 22 and victim was 13 at time offences began

Rolling seven-day average of cases by B.C. health authority to Jan. 21. Fraser Health in purple, Vancouver Coastal red, Interior Health orange, Northern Health green and Vancouver Island blue. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
2nd COVID vaccine doses on hold as B.C. delivery delayed again

New COVID-19 cases slowing in Fraser Health region

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

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry talk about the next steps in B.C.’s COVID-19 Immunization Plan during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, January 22, 2021. Two more cases of the COVID-19 strain first identified in South Africa have been diagnosed in British Columbia, bringing the total to three as of Jan. 16.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. now has three cases of South African COVID-19 variant, six of U.K. strain

Both variants are thought to spread faster than earlier strains

Rodney and Ekaterina Baker in an undated photo from social media. The couple has been ticketed and charged under the Yukon’s <em>Civil Emergency Measures Act</em> for breaking isolation requirements in order to sneak into a vaccine clinic and receive Moderna vaccine doses in Beaver Creek. (Facebook/Submitted)
Great Canadian Gaming CEO resigns after being accused of sneaking into Yukon for vaccine

Rod Baker and Ekaterina Baker were charged with two CEMA violations each

Police discovered a makeshift nightclub in a Vancouver apartment on Jan. 23, 2021, and say it wasn’t the first time this month officers have been called to the unit over social gathering concerns. (Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
Doorman of makeshift ‘booze-can’ in Vancouver apartment fined; police look to court order

This marks the fourth complaint about social gatherings inside the apartment in January

A Kelowna couple welcomed their Nooner baby in December. (Flytographer)
Kelowna couple welcomes baby girl from Hotel Zed Nooner campaign

Nicole and Alex will now have 18 years of free stays at the hotel

Most Read