A development sign marks the proposed site of approximately 126 new townhomes, in the 16300-block of 20 Avenue in South Surrey. (Tracy Holmes photo)

Surrey councillor tallies Grandview development

2,200 new homes, says Coun. Dave Woods, as he casts sole vote against 300 more townhouses

Bylaw amendments to facilitate the addition of more than 300 townhouses to South Surrey’s Grandview Heights neighbourhood received third reading at Surrey council Monday evening.

But the application by Woodbridge Developments (South Grandview) Ltd. for land in the 16300-block of 20 Avenue did not pass muster with at least one councillor, who voiced concern “because of the schooling situation in the area.”

In expressing opposition, Coun. Dave Woods acknowledged a mention by Mayor Linda Hepner of last month’s announcement regarding funding for a 300-seat addition to Pacific Heights Elementary and a new, 655-seat elementary school.

However, “I’ve been keeping track in the development in the Grandview area,” Woods said.

“According to my records, the amount of development permits that have been issued so far in that area basically account to 2,200 units: 396 houses – and of course, most houses all have secondary suites – townhouses, 1,110, and the apartments, 346.

“Now, we’re adding some more units. If there’s just one child out of half of those units, that’s 1,100 potential new students that are going to be in that area by September 2019.”

Woods was the sole councillor to vote against giving the requested amendments and development variance permit third reading. Couns. Judy Villeneuve and Mary Martin were absent.

Coun. Bruce Hayne, in voicing support for the project, noted its density is below what is allowed in the area. Contributions by the developer to pump-station funding “and so on… balance this particular application,” he said.

Prior to the vote, at a public hearing, Woodbridge CEO James Howard told council those contributions also include majority funding of a $70,000 playground for Pacific Heights Elementary, “substantial dedications” to the road network and a “significant extension” of the Grandview Ridge trail.

Howard said the pump-station contribution totalled $2.25 million, and that the majority of the townhouses – there would be approximately 127 in the first phase – would be three- or four-bedroom units with side-by-side garages.

“The project itself will provide critical housing for the classic missing middle that many of the municipalities in the Lower Mainland and the province had identified as a priority,” Howard said.

In response to a question from Hepner regarding an absent councillor’s previously voiced question whether Woodbridge would actually build and maintain the project, Howard confirmed that is the case.

“We have the financing already,” he said. “It’s our full intention to service the site and to build this first phase. We hadn’t thought yet of future phases beyond that, they’re not before us.

“The reason we’ve designed it without maximizing tandem homes is because we intend to build something that we believe in.”

One resident who spoke against the application expressed concern with the impact to trees, referring to a planning report that notes a $78,000 cash-in-lieu payment due to lack of room on the site to plant 195 of 336 replacement trees. He also cited concern with school space and transit.

Surrey Environmental Partners’ president Deb Jack noted the report was unclear as to where six mature trees earmarked for retention are located; it’s also unclear what the promised trail will look like, she said.

City staff clarified that the trail is to connect to the Pioneer Trail on the east side of the Fergus Watershed Biodiversity Preserve, and offered to meet with SEP representatives to share further details.

Just Posted

VIDEO: Surrey girls donate hair, give hope through Wigs for Kids

Emotional event at Coyote Creek Elementary saw 10 girls donate locks to those with cancer

Historic farm time travels to 1900

Demonstrations to show life in Surrey

Choices Lottery home located in White Rock

The 3,672 square-foot, three-level home, located at 1502 Bishop Road, has ocean views.

Pedestrian in critical condition after South Surrey crash identified

RCMP said they have been in contact with the woman’s family

Rescue boat theft marks third in 3 years for Agassiz-based SAR team

Eight-metre Spirit of Harrison rescue vessel was stolen Friday night, found Saturday morning

Couple keeps South Surrey neighbourhood clean

Bob Cockerill, 83, and his wife Ev, 80, pick up garbage on their morning walks

Inspections, training needed to prevent repeat of Fernie ammonia leak across B.C.

Ammonia is inherently dangerous and should be not used in skating and curling rinks, says one expert

Fraser Valley Thunderbirds take game one

Quarter final BC Hockey Major Midget League series underway

RCMP move to arrest pipeline protesters at entrance to Trans Mountain work site

28 demonstrators began blocking the entrance to Kinder Morgan’s work site at about 10 a.m. Saturday

Federal government seeks public feedback on pedestrian safety

What safety measures do you think need to improved for pedestrians and cyclists?

4 facts to ring in St. Patrick’s Day

What do you really know about the Irish celebration?

Experts urging caution as rabbits die by the hundreds in B.C. city

Province of B.C. confirms more positive tests for rabbit haemorrhagic disease

Canucks snap scoreless streak but fall short in 5-3 loss to Sharks

Swiss forward Timo Meier nets two, including the game-winner, to lead San Jose

Search continues for 10-year-old Montreal boy missing since Monday

Montreal police said they are exploring every possibility in search for Ariel Jeffrey Kouakou

Most Read