A public hearing on the City of Surrey’s request for regional growth strategy amendments that would facilitate a 145-lot subdivision in the Hazelmere Valley has been set for Wednesday evening (June 13) in Burnaby.
The 7 p.m. hearing was called by Metro Vancouver to hear comments on the city’s application to have the 23.7-hectare site redesignated to general urban from rural, and the land’s urban containment boundary (UCB) extended to encompass the new general urban area.
Metro’s support for the changes is vital to the proposed development, which is eyed for three lots on 0 Avenue that are largely owned by Hazelmere Golf & Tennis Club.
Surrey council gave the plan third reading last September. In late February, Metro board members voted to direct staff to draft the requested amendment bylaw – despite a senior planner’s recommendation that the city’s request be declined.
Delegations heard at the February meeting – including an endorsement from Semiahmoo First Nation Chief Harley Chappell – helped sway directors’ support to move the bylaw forward, Metro officials confirmed at the time.
At the same time, directors also determined it would “behoove” them to hear how the public felt about the proposed change.
“I do think… it would benefit from having the full public-hearing process that the regional growth strategy affords it,” Metro director Andrea Reimer said, during discussion of the matter Feb. 23.
In a Feb. 2 report, Metro senior regional planner Terry Hoff explains the proposed amendment “primarily and fundamentally” impacts urban containment provisions within the regional growth strategy – referred to within the report as Metro 2040 – and has “related implications” for other Metro 2040 goals.
It “would contribute to sprawling urban growth and has not been justified through land capacity restraints,” the report states.
“If approved, (it) would signal… that the fundamental Metro 2040 urban containment goals and strategies are not viable. The proposed amendment challenges the most fundamental elements of Metro 2040.”
The proponents have described the project as key to the golf course’s continued viability; a “strategic move” by Hazelmere to counter a declining trend in the golf industry.
If approved, it would also include a return of 10.7 acres of golf-course land to the ALR; three acres of park; and protection of 7.8 acres of natural area, Maggie Koka, agent for the developer, told council in September.
Opponents have expressed concern with the infrastructure required, as well as with impacts on the area’s aquifers, schools, traffic volumes and the Little Campbell River. Metro director Harold Steves has argued it will also increase speculation of farm lands around the site.
Sarah Rush, representing Friends of Hazelmere Campbell Valley, said she and “a number of people” are planning to speaks at the June 13 hearing. In February, she appealed to the Metro board to deny the application, noting it would cause “considerable further loss” of agricultural land, is nowhere near public transportation and does not meet any of Metro 2040’s goals.
Wednesday’s meeting is the last opportunity for public comment on the amendment bylaw. The meeting is to be held in the Metro Vancouver boardroom, located on the 28th floor of Metrotower III (4730 Kingsway).
For those unable to attend, written submissions will be accepted until 4 p.m. June 12.