Surrey.ca image The City of Surrey hosted an open house last month to gather input for a Semiahmoo Town Centre plan update.

300-plus weigh in on future of Semiahmoo Town Centre

Council expected to see draft plan next winter

The latest opportunity to weigh in on the future of the Semiahmoo Town Centre drew more than 300 people to the South Surrey Arts & Recreation Centre.

Held Feb. 28, the open house was organized to “bring you up to date on where we are in the process” of developing a land-use plan that will guide growth in the community, according to display boards shared on the City of Surrey’s webpage.

The plan area extends from 16 Avenue north to 24 Avenue, and from Martin Drive to Earl Marriott Secondary – a total study area of 136 hectares.

City planner Steve MacIntyre told Peace Arch News Wednesday (March 13) that comments from open-house attendees related to density, transportation, housing, parks and schools; and included a number focused on the need for senior-oriented amenities, accessible and adaptable housing, and transit and public-realm improvements such as more benches, sidewalks and wheelchairs ramps.

A full summary of survey results from the open house is anticipated to be posted to surrey.ca in the next two weeks.

The process of updating the Semiahmoo Town Centre Plan began in July 2004, to address “changing market conditions and increasing development pressure.” Ongoing studies and stakeholder meetings over the years led to the adoption of a 2012 interim plan.

At that time, some Peninsula residents expressed concern with the potential for highrises and increased density.

READ MORE: Spectre of South Surrey highrise plan still looms

Display boards shared at the open house confirm the existing plan permits higher densities and buildings of up to 20-plus storeys along the southern portion of 152 Street, “to support a mixed-use main street and public transit.”

It also envisions the creation of new public plazas on 152 Street, at 16 and 19 Avenues.

Workshops were held last year regarding extending the Town Centre boundary east to EMS and north to 24 Avenue, to accommodate an expanded medical district along 16 Avenue and help prepare for B-Line bus services along 152 Street.

In surveys conducted at that time, respondents identified tree- and green-space preservation, enhanced walkability and traffic congestion as among key concerns.

At last month’s open house, attendees were asked for suggestions on how to accommodate a growing population of aging seniors while making room for young families; how to improve the area’s transportation network; and, what is missing in Semiahmoo Town Centre.

The questions were accompanied by statistics, including that 35 per cent of the area’s population is older than 65 and that the majority of housing is apartments and single-family homes. As well, that a performing arts centre and art gallery remains part of the vision for Semiahmoo.

The latter was a component of a two-tower residential development that was proposed six years ago for the corner of 152 Street and 19 Avenue.

Described as presenting “tremendous opportunities for the South Surrey community at large,” it was met with mixed reviews by the public – with attitudes split between those excited about the potential of the proposed amenities and those wary of the impact of the two towers.

In February 2014, a public hearing on the development was put on hold pending submission of an amended plan.

READ MORE: Divided views over arts-centre towers proposed for South Surrey

READ MORE: South Surrey arts-towers proposal to be revamped

MacIntyre told PAN Wednesday that the performing arts centre is “highlighted as an ongoing desire” in the city’s 2018 Parks, Recreation & Culture Strategic Plan.

“However it’s unlikely to be realized at that location,” he said by email.

Noting the topic came up “several times” at the open house, MacIntyre said the city “will continue to pursue opportunities that might come up to accommodate such a facility in the town centre.”

It’s anticipated the Stage 1 draft plan will be presented to council this coming winter. If approved, work on Stage 2 is to get underway.

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

Comments are closed

Just Posted

BREAKING: Cloverdale McDonald’s employee tests positive for COVID-19

McDonald’s Canada immediately shut down the restaurant

Southridge students raise $5,600 for hospital meal program

GoFundMe campaign funds two months of meals at Peace Arch Hospital

Surrey kids get cooking during free SuperChefs camps pushed online by pandemic

‘Enthusiastic’ launch of program, which sees ingredient pickup at one local school

Court awards woman $143K for two Whalley rear-ender crashes, one by a bus

In both cases, Brigitte Bergeron’s vehicle was hit from behind while stopped at an intersection

Surrey RCMP searching for missing woman last seen in Crescent Beach

Milcah Kasomali-Chirumbwana last seen at 4:35 p.m. July 5 in the 12300-block of Beecher Street

Horrifying video shows near head-on collision on Trans Canada

The video was captured on dash cam along Highway 1

Fraser Valley woman complains of violent RCMP takedown during wellness check

Mounties respond that she was not co-operating during Mental Health Act apprehension

B.C. sees 12 new COVID-19 cases, no new deaths

Three outbreaks exist in health-care settings

Lost dog swims Columbia River multiple times searching for home

The dog was missing from his Castlegar home for three days.

COVID-19: B.C. promotes video-activated services card

Mobile app allows easier video identity verification

ICBC to resume road tests in July with priority for rebookings, health-care workers

Tests have been on hold for four months due to COVID-19

Would you take a COVID-19 vaccine? Poll suggests most Canadians say yes

75 per cent of Canadians would agree to take a novel coronavirus vaccine

Abbotsford school vice-principal accused of getting Instagram ‘confessions’ page shut down

@A.S.S.S.Confessions page claims school officials contacted families to find out person behind page

Recreational chinook openings leave First Nations frustrated on the Lower Fraser

Limited recreational openings for chinook on the Chehalis and Chilliwack rivers being questioned

Most Read