PANORAMA RIDGE — The East Panorama Ridge Community Association will be at city hall tonight to fight a development at the corner of 148th Street and Highway 10.
The issue? High density in a low-density neighbourhood, president Karl Rulofs told the Now-Leader.
“You might as well take every cul de sac in Surrey and put an apartment block in the middle of it. It makes about that much sense,” he said. “I suspect we’re going to have a very good turnout to council Monday night.”
The developer seeks to build a worship centre for Village Church and 36 townhouses on a 9.7-acre property at 14876 and 14844 No. 10 Highway. This requires an Official Community Plan amendment from suburban to mixed employment and urban. It also requires rezoning, from RA to PA-2 and CD.
Also required would be an amendment to the East Panorama Ridge Concept Plan from residential style business park and suburban residential (half acre) to assembly hall and residential (10 units per acre), among other variances.
The public hearing for the application will happen at city hall tonight (April 24).
The community association is deadset against the proposed density.
“We are a well-established neighbourhood of abouty 120 homes on half-acre lots on the south side of Highway 10,” said Rulofs. “And we are a one way in and one way out, no-exit neighbourhood.
“Traffic issues are bound to happen with 400-plus cars at a service,” he added.
Rulofs noted there are almost 100 houses that exit on 148th Street as it is.
“It’s not that we’re against the church, it’s how the church fits in with the community. They say they want to be good neighbours, well good neighbours don’t just walk into a neighbourhood and tear it apart. How are going to stop people from parking on (148th) Street? It’s narrow enough as it is.”
Rulofs said he worries about the townhouse density setting a precedent, starting a snowball effect that will creep further into his neighbourhood.
“We moved in here in 1998. In 2000 is when Surrey has asked for proposals for how the OCP should be laid out,” he explained. “That’s when all the houses started going in north of Highway 10. The YMCA wasn’t here, those houses weren’t here, those were all half acre and larger lots. And it evolved. In 2000 I did speak to city council and I said I liked the plan they came up with, which wa half-acre lots, 200 feet deep… and into light commercial. That’s what’s still on the books, that’s what we’d still like to see.
In the planning report, city staff write that “the applicant has made reasonable efforts to respond to area residents, including changing the housing style from two-storey with basement units to one-storey rancher style units with basements. And the landscape buffer has been revised to provide a more substanial buffer by using larger trees and shrubs.”
The report also notes the applicant has eliminated vehicular access to 148th Street.
But the residents remain firmly opposed and instead, want to see half-acre lots, in accordance with the East Panorama Ridge Concept Plan.
And Rulofs still isn’t happy with the height of the church facility.
“I know the changes they’ve made to try and accomodate us…. but if they put a structure that’s 50 feet tall, the view for all these people up here is gone. It blocks it completely.”
(This story will be updated Tuesday morning after Monday night’s hearing at Surrey City Hall.)