A mixed-use development with 69 market rental units and 10 commercial units is proposed for the 2300-block of King George Boulevard. (Thinkspace rendering)

Pair of South Surrey apartment proposals move forward

Council gives third reading to rezoning applications for market-rental and residential projects

Rezoning applications to facilitate a pair of South Surrey development proposals received third reading at Surrey council this week, following public hearings Monday (June 14).

READ MORE: Public hearings set for pair of South Surrey apartment proposals

Speakers who called in regarding the first project – a four-storey, 50-unit building eyed for 26 Avenue and 152 Street, just east of the Seniors Come Share Society and north of the Bishop’s Green townhouse complex – cited concerns including tree loss and the impact to traffic. Of written submissions, 11 opposed the application, while one submitted concerns, a city clerk noted.

The project includes five townhouses and 45 apartments, and was originally proposed as a mixed-use development of commercial and residential units.

“Significant changes” made following public consultation that began in April 2019 resulted in “solid support on many of the key aspects of the project,” Graham Farstad, a representative for the applicant, told council Monday. Those aspects include the underground parking, vehicle access from 26 Avenue and the elimination of any commercial uses.

There is an area of concern remaining with Bishop’s Green, pertaining to excavation of the underground parking and concerns that the work could cause movement of the homes.

Farstad said a consultant has been retained to undertake detailed measurements and ensure compliance. The step – if done correctly, monitored and checked on completion – is one a Bishop’s Green resident later noted to council meant “there should not be a problem.”

Of eight who called to weigh in during the hearing, three were cut off mid-comment; two, for requesting Mayor Doug McCallum’s resignation.

READ MORE: VIDEO: Surrey mayor unceremoniously cuts off 22 speakers during public hearing

That pattern prompted the mayor to reiterate a warning ahead of the public hearing for the second project – a four-storey mixed-use building with commercial units on the ground floor and 69 rental residential apartments, eyed for the 2300-block of King George Boulevard – reminding callers to keep their comments respectful and relevant to the application.

Three of the five who called in complied. Fleetwood resident Richard Landale congratulated the proponents for “a terrific project,” but expressed concern around the impact to traffic on 24 Avenue and 156 Street, as well as with line-of-sight obstructions.

South Surrey resident Guy Shaddock opposed the development, describing the application as “flawed in critical ways.”

The rezoning, he said, discounts important elements of the existing land-use concept plan from 1995, including that all new residential developments along King George should consider the retention and protection of a 15-metre-wide undisturbed area of existing mature vegetation on both sides of the right-of-way as a visual and noise-protection buffer.

Until now, “this 15-m protection buffer has been respected,” Shaddock said.

Shaddock also spoke to traffic impacts, noting both 156 Street and 24 Avenue are already “overwhelmed” by congestion. The latter, he noted, is the only road east of King George that serves the Morgan Creek area.

Council voted unanimously, without discussion, on the third readings for the projects.

Both have yet to receive final approval.

tholmes@peacearchnews.comLike us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Peace Arch News