Every Neighbourhood Concept Plan (NCP) calls for transitional density. This planning objective ensures that existing low-density neighbourhoods are not crushed by overwhelming high-density new construction at their doorstep.
In this case, that density range is two to 10 units per acre. The proponent, Tara Development, is demanding the highest possible density along the perimeter of the planning area. Their plan will adversely impact existing homeowners living across from the new construction.
Tara Development, through architect Mark Ankenman, has conveniently chosen to blame the City of Surrey planning department for the impasse, saying: “If there’s a range of opportunities in the NCP that the neighborhood doesn’t want, then that range of opportunities shouldn’t be in the NCP,” he said, noting the increased density cited “ain’t us”…
He goes on to say the increased density cited will come from a project going in behind Tara Developments’.
Mayor and council are in receipt of a 350-signature signed petition expressing opposition to file 7914-0118.
The issues are clear. The density being sought is excessive; the duplex built form is incongruent with the existing neighbourhood and the proposal is in conflict with three other larger files underway in this area.
Mike Proskow, Surrey
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The 2012 Orchard Grove NCP contains five written modulations and five visual guidelines for development along 26 Avenue. I dispute the architect’s contentions at the public hearing that his proposal is consistent with the neighbourhood community plan.
It is also my opinion that his “believe me neighbours, I have been respectful” comment is disingenuous. I consider it disrespectful that a developer would prey upon the spirit and intent of the NCP with this plan.
The Orchard Grove NCP graphically suggests either five duplex units or five single-family units in the 7914-0118 development space. By contrast, application 7914-0118’s “sensitive notion of matching form and function” is to stuff 17 units – eight duplexes plus one single-family unit – into the same NCP space!
These drawings explain why 364 neighbours signed a petition against this plan in one midsummer’s week.
The real puzzle is why council would disregard the planning department’s earlier recommendation and subsequently spend 1½ hours of council time hearing blowback from angered neighbours.
Murray McFadden, Surrey