Properties on the north side of 24 Avenue in the Orchard Grove area were subject of an apartment and townhouse project that was stalled at third reading before Surrey council.

Surrey grants reprieve for Orchard Grove area

School and traffic concerns were cited by residents and council members over apartment and townhouse proposal

The Orchard Grove neighbourhood of South Surrey may retain its current character – and tree canopy – for now, at least.

A proposal for a combined apartment building and townhouse development in the 16600-block of 24th Ave. was stalled at third reading of the rezoning application by Surrey council Monday night, after a public hearing in which five residents voiced opposition to the plan.

The development – which  proposed a six-storey building of 117 units (including two levels of underground parking) and 79 houses at 16613, 16637 and 16667 24 Ave. – was referred back to staff for revisions and with a direction that an apartment building would not be appropriate for the property.

Area resident Peter Tilbury – who was one of those who spoke against the plan – told Peace Arch News in an email that the single family lots currently have 98 mature cedars and Douglas firs on them.

“The developer plans to remove 78 of these,” he said.

“That’s a 79 per cent reduction in the tree canopy – Orchard Grove would be no more.”

Tilbury also noted that – given the parking provisions for the development – it could introduce some 300 more cars to local roads.

Jackie Christofferson, president of the Country Woods Residents Association – which represents some Orchard Grove residents – said she felt council members did listen and heed speakers’ objections.

“It seems positive – I was led to believe that very little would happen as it had already reached third reading,” she said, adding that she expects another version of the proposal will eventually come back to council.

“We suggested either single-family or townhouse development in that area, as it would be in keeping with the intent of the (Neighbourhood Concept Plan) and the entire nature of the area.”

Christofferson was also among those who raised the issue of the impact of the development on area schools.

From city estimates, it would bring 35 new elementary school students to the area.

“Pacific Heights Elementary is supposed to have 250 students and they’ve got 307 – they’re already over-capacity,” Christofferson said. “If you added another 35 they’d have to build another two portables. It would be another Sunnyside Elementary situation.”

Christofferson said that while Couns. Bruce Hayne, Barbara Steele and Tom Gill all recommended referring the proposal back to staff to address community concerns, strongest opposition came from Couns. Vera LeFranc, Judy Villeneuve and Dave Woods, who expressed concern about the impact on traffic and on schools.

“Coun. LeFranc said it didn’t make sense to have that density in this area,” she said. “She noted it wasn’t in a transit corridor.

“And Coun. Villeneuve said it was too dense, from both a people and architectural perspective and that she has ongoing concerns about traffic on 24 Avenue.”

 

 

 

 

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

Just Posted

The peninsula’s Community Christmas Day Dinner at White Rock Baptist Church – seen here in 2019 – has been cancelled for 2020, because of pandemic-inspired limitations on gatherings. (File photo)
Annual Community Christmas dinner ‘just not possible’ this year

Organizers vow that 40 years-plus Semiahmoo Peninsula tradition will return, post-COVID

Sources volunteers face off at the organization’s ‘Enchanted’ gala – one as a fairy and the other as her magic-mirror reflection – held in 2019. (Tiffany Kwong photo)
‘Rising infections’ prompts move to virtual Sources gala

Silent auction, raffle opens to public at 9 a.m. Oct. 30

This year’s annual Lighted Boat Parade has been cancelled. (File photo)
White Rock’s annual Lighted Boat Parade cancelled

COVID-19 cited as main reason for cancellation of popular winter tradition

Strawberry Hill Hall is being renovated and moved to another location on its existing corner lot in Newton. (Photo: Tom Zillich)
Surrey’s historic Strawberry Hill Hall being moved a few metres in $1.2M reno project

Childcare spaces coming to corner lot where hall has stood for 111 years

A surveillance camera in a photo posted to the Project Iris page on surrey.rcmp-grc.gc.ca.
Quality surveillance video helps catch crooks, Surrey Mounties say

Charges laid in connection to break-and-enter in Guildford area

A woman wears a face mask and plastic gloves while browsing books as a sticker on the floor indicates a one-way direction of travel between shelves of books at the Vancouver Public Library’s central branch, after it and four other branches reopened with limited services, in Vancouver, on Tuesday, July 14, 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck)
B.C. reports 234 new COVID cases, 1 death of senior who had attended small birthday party

Roughly 5,700 people are isolating due to being exposed to a confirmed case

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry speaks Thursday (Oct. 29) during a news conference held at Fraser Health office, in video posted to Facebook. (Photo: Government of British Columbai/Facebook)
COVID-19 ‘disproportionately’ affecting Fraser Health: Henry

Health region has about 75 per cent of B.C.’s active cases

Burnaby RCMP responded to a dine-and-dash suspect who fell through a ceiling in March 2020. (RCMP handout)
VIDEO: Suspected dine-and-dasher falls through ceiling of Burnaby restaurant

A woman believed to be dashing on her restaurant bill fell through the kitchen ceiling

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

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

A can of Canada Dry Ginger Ale is shown in Toronto on Thursday Oct. 29, 2020. The maker of Canada Dry Ginger Ale has agreed to pay over $200,000 to settle a class-action lawsuit launched by a B.C. man who alleged he was misled by marketing suggesting the soda had medicinal benefits. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Joseph O’Connal
B.C. man’s lawsuit over marketing of Canada Dry ginger ale settled for $200K

Soda’s maker, Canada Dry Mott’s Inc., denied the allegations and any liability

Vancouver Island-based Wilson’s Transportation has expanded to fill some of the routes left unserviced by Greyhound as of Nov. 1, 2018. (Black Press files)
B.C. bus companies say they need help to survive COVID-19

Like airlines, motor coaches have lost most of their revenue

A deer was spotted in October 2020 in Prince Rupert, B.C., with a bright pink yoga ball stuck in its antlers. (Kayla Vickers/Chronicles Of Hammy The Deer Official Page)
Hammy 2.0? Prince Rupert deer spotted with bright pink yoga ball stuck in antlers

The BC Conservation Officer Service is aware of the deer roaming around the city

RCMP. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
Kelowna Mountie hit with 2nd lawsuit in 2 months for alleged assault

Const. Julius Prommer is accused of breaking a woman’s knee during while responding to a noise complaint

Most Read