Metro Vancouver’s board of directors is to decide this month on the City of Surrey’s quest to clear the way for commercial and industrial development in South Campbell Heights.
Final reading of amendments to Metro Vancouver’s regional growth strategy, including an extension of the urban containment boundary, is set for consideration on Jan. 28.
The city’s proposal seeks to redesignate 160.8 of 242 hectares on the South Surrey-Langley Township border for employment use while protecting one third of the total subject area under a conservation and recreation designation.
The board voted in October – following more than five hours of delegations and debate – to move the amendment process forward.
Proponents say the change is needed to address a critical shortage of industrial lands in the region, while opponents maintain the move raises a multitude of environmental concerns, and warrants more study before forging ahead.
The area in question is on the South Surrey-Langley Township border. Bounded by 20 Avenue to the north, 196 Street to the east, 8 Avenue to the south and approximately 186 Street to the west, it is outside of the agricultural land reserve, sits atop the Brookswood aquifer and encompasses 72 properties.
In voting to move the process forward, some Metro directors emphasized a need to “respect the jurisdiction of Surrey.”
“Our job is the look at the facts, we’re not here to supervise other individual cities, other individual members,” said Delta Mayor George Harvie.
Others supported referring the proposal back for more studies and consultation.
The October decision included a direction to seek comment from local First Nations prior to consideration of final reading. The board heard from Semiahmoo First Nation Chief Harley Chappell that a lack of opportunity to properly engage in the conversation was a key concern for him.
There is no opportunity for public comment on the issue at the Jan. 28 meeting, which is scheduled to get underway at 9 a.m. To watch the livestream, visit metrovancouver.org
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