Despite one Surrey councillor raising concerns about traffic and school infrastructure to support 218 homes being built in Whalley, the rest of council voted to OK the project Monday night.
Mosaic Parker Properties intends to build 17 townhouses, and 201 apartments spread out between three four-storey buildings, at 10558, 10576, 10596 and 10604 139th St.
Three of the lots are zoned single-family residential, and a fourth is zoned single-family residential and duplex residential. All must be rezoned to comprehensive development to allow for the project.
Surrey council gave third reading to the rezoning request and a development variance permit during Dec. 3’s council meeting, with Councillor Steven Pettigrew opposed.
“My main concern about this is, I know this area quite well, I live reasonably close to it, and there’s a lot of large developments going in here,” said Pettigrew ahead of the vote. “I’m also concerned about the traffic impact study. This is something that I think that we should really seriously look at. There’s this large block, a block east of it, then along 140th there’s also some other units, large buildings, being built there. The whole area is going to be intensified with vehicle traffic. I’d like to see this referred back until we can see a traffic impact study done for this area so we can understand the full implications of this.”
Pettigrew also voiced concern about the schools in the area being “already stressed out.”
“We have Kwantlen (Park Secondary) at 121 per cent capacity and the Ministry of Education has not approved any additional funding for expansion for that school. Also Forsyth Road Elementary is also over capacity.”
The development is projected to produce 15 elementary students at Forsyth, and 11 secondary students at Kwantlen Park, according to the planning report.
To Pettigrew’s concerns, city staff said a traffic impact study was not required as “peak hour generation of 46 trips per hour did not meet the design threshold of 150 trips per hour.”
Staff also told council the proposed density is appropriate within the City Centre Plan.
Pettigrew said he wanted to refer the application back to staff, but Mayor Doug McCallum said he would “not allow a referral on that” after staff advised they didn’t think a traffic report was necessary.
The rest of council then voted to approve the third reading of the rezoning request, as well as a development variance permit that was needed to “include the use of a Surety Bond as part of a pilot program to increase housing options and affordability.”
According to city documents, a Surety Bond is a three-party agreement between the Developer, Surety Bond Insurer and the City. It obligates the Surety to pay the City in instances of debt or default of the developer.
“The developer’s working capital will then be freed for greater liquidity that can then be encouraged for reinvestment into the city,” a planning report says of the pilot program.
Ahead of the vote, Pettigrew expressed concern regarding the Surety bond.
“This is the fifth one that’s going to be added to it…. Let’s see if the pilot project works first,” he noted.
This project is adjacent to a recently approved development that is currently under construction. That plan will see 214 units constructed between three, six-storey apartment buildings, at 10555, 10577 10595, 10607 140th St.