A developer has received council’s blessing to rezone a second portion of a manufactured home park in Fleetwood to make way for a project that, in all, will see 563 housing units built in its place along Fraser Highway.
The former Surrey First council voted unanimously to give Dawson + Sawyer’s application for phase one third reading in 2017, and now, the Safe Surrey Coalition-led council has followed suit with the second-phase proposal for the northern portion of the site.
All together, roughly 80 manufactured homes are to be demolished to make way for the project at Fleetwood’s Green Tree Estates, a 9.8-acre property at 15820 Fraser Hwy.
In phase one of the redevelopment, Dawson + Sawyer plans to build 137 townhomes.
In phase two, one five-storey and four six-storey apartment buildings are set to be built, creating 426 units, 43 of which would be designated as rentual units for a period of 20 years.
Ahead of council giving the phase two application third reading on Feb. 25, several councillors and Mayor Doug McCallum spoke in support of the project: Except for Councillor Steven Pettigrew, who voted against it and said he “continues to get calls and concerns from the seniors and people that are in the homes.”
Pettigrew encouraged the developer to “make sure they’re all placed properly” in new homes.
“They’re stressed out,” said Pettigrew. “I’ve heard some good things, so that’s good, so please continue to work with them.”
Councillor Brenda Locke said she has heard from a number of people that live in the area and that they “have been very happy with the way the developer has handled tricky situations, and difficult ones. I appreciate that.”
Mayor McCallum said in the past he has “not been supportive of doing trailer parks into more density development only because I’ve often thought in Surrey that trailer parks do provide affordable housing, for especially our seniors.”
The mayor said it is an “affordable type of housing for very vulnerable seniors.”
However, when it comes to this project, McCallum said he “did do a lot of research” and “found out an amazing thing.”
“Literally everybody in this trailer park has been looked after,” he said following Pettigrew’s comments, “and has had a really good amount of say towards the developer in relocating them and making them feel comfortable about moving.”
McCallum said it’s his understanding that “100 per cent of them have been appeased and are happy with whatever the settlements are and, in fact, will be completely out of there by the end of the year.”
He praised the developer for doing an “exceptional job in working with the community.”
Roz Bailey, who has acted as somewhat of a spokesperson for those living in the park, told the Now-Leader that “most residents have left” and in doing so left the City of Surrey entirely.
“Some of us took another $10,000 to leave by March 13,” Bailey added, which was above and beyond the settlement reached with residents. “A few households, five or six, are still at the south end of the property…. Transitions are difficult and I think most of us will be glad when it’s over.”
In addition to rezoning the property, this most recent phase two application requires an Official Community Plan amendment (from urban to multiple residential), and another amendment to the Fleetwood Town Centre Plan for a portion of the site (from manufactured homes/buffer within private land, to a new land-use designation, apartment 2.0 FAR six-storey maximum).
In a report to council, city staff’s rationale for recommending the approval of the increase in density noted the site is within roughly 415 metres of a potential future SkyTrain station located at 160th Street and Fraser Highway.
“A higher-density multiple residential development on the subject site is supportable given the site’s close proximity to an existing Frequent Transit Network and future rapid transit and will encourage walk-ability, allow for greater housing choice and is consistent with OCP principles that encourage higher-density adjacent to Frequent Transit Networks,” staff wrote.
It’s a justification Pettigrew took issue with.
“We don’t know, I haven’t been told anyway, where these SkyTrain stations are going. That’s something I need to be clear on,” he said ahead of the vote, where he was the lone vote of opposition.
As per the City of Surrey’s Affordable Housing Strategy, the developer will also be required to contribute $1,000 per unit to “support the development of new affordable housing in Surrey,” to the tune of $426,000 for the northern portion of the site.
According to city documents, the school district estimates the apartment buildings would result in 21 elementary and 21 secondary students (who would be within the catchments of Walnut Road Elementary and Fleetwood Park Secondary, which are currently at 113.6 per cent and 126.9 per cent capacity, respectively).
The project is expected to get final reading at a future meeting.
The apartments are expected to be ready for occupancy some time between 2022 and 2026.