City of Surrey Planning Documents
Central to the mandate of the GHSA is to easily provide resources to residents and others interested in the stewardship of Grandview Heights so issues about the neighbourhood can be understood. If you’re not a City Planner or developer (or someone in a similar type of job) it can be confusing and overwhelming to residents and taxpayers who want to understand how the area they live in is planned for the future.
Here is a lay-person’s abridged version of the foundational background of the Grandview Heights neighbourhood, which is comprised of the lands of the “Grandview Heights General Use Plan” (GLUP) area plus, in the purview of the GHSA, the lands of North Grandview as well as Redwood Park and Redwood Park Estates. The red border is the City’s approved GLUP plan (2004) which also in includes the new NCP area of 5A (Orchard Grove 2012). What is a GLUP? What is an NCP? Why is it useful to know if you live in an area with an NCP or not? Read on. (Click map to zoom)
Official Community Plan: the Umbrella
The long-range planning of the City of Surrey is explained in the Official Community Plan which is a statement of objectives and policies. The OCP is required by the Province of BC (Local Government Act) and per statutory requirements, it is reviewed yearly with a major revision every five years in order to consider the evolving nature of the City. All Planning in the City of Surrey is directed by the GVRD and the Metro Vancouver Regional Growth Strategy
In the hierarchy of City planning documents the OCP is at the top; created to guide land use and development over periods of 5 to 20 years. This, according to By-law 12900, is to “complete sustainable communities with sensitivity to the environment” which includes both residential and business growth. Amendments are made at the discretion of City Council.
In the new OCP, most of Area 3, 5 and 4 is zoned under the new category “Suburban-Urban Reserve”, formerly “Suburban.” Morgan Heights NCP and Sunnyside NCP 2 are primarily “Urban” with some “Multi-family.” Redwood Park Estates area is “Rural.” North Grandview NCP is zoned both “Suburban” and “Urban” depending on the area.
The move from “Suburban” to “Suburban-Urban” in the new OCP to areas of predominately one-acre properties which have RA (1 acre) zoning is reflective of Surrey’s appetite for urbanization (informed by GVRD population projections). Suburban -Urban supports “Suburban land uses in areas where future urban development is expected.” If you live in Area 3 or 5 (Area 4 currently having reached stage 1 of its NCP) this will be of interest to you.
Here is a map from the latest OCP showing Grandview Heights between the purple boundary where you can see the new designations.
Secondary Use Plans and Neighbourhood Concept Plans: next levels under the OCP umbrella
The goals of the OCP are translated into development through the neighbourhood concept planning process. Neighbourhood Concept Plans (NCP) are “secondary land-use plans” that provide direction on how a particular area of land will be developed. NCPs include maps, a clear development concept, servicing assessments and plans, environmental assessments, social infrastructure observations and recommendations and must include a section reflecting the policies set out in the OCP and how the development plan will achieve those goals. The NCP process guides all new development in Surrey and City Council’s position is clear that new development (via re-zoning of lands) cannot proceed in areas without an NCP.
Council may authorize the preparation of a Neighbourhood Concept Plan where a demonstrated level of support is evident from landowners within a defined area. This level of support is generally defined as 51% or more of landowners or owners of 70% or more of the land within the proposed plan area
Depending on the type of land, profile residents, age of homes and other factors, landowners who vote in favour of the process usually do so because land value generally increases as the speculation on the property increases. Usually developers acquire over years large amounts of land to spark interest to initiate an NCP.
Secondary land use plans can be designed by private consultants hired by the City. The consultants work closely with City’s Long Range Planning staff to make sure that the secondary plans meet the intentions of the OCP, and are accepted by Council. NCPs can take several years to complete. Public meetings and Community Advisory Councils (CAC) are engaged to assess area resident feedback.
NCPs produce a number of documents, the most important of which are the Stage 1 and Stage 2 Planning Reports. Stage 1 is involved with land use – setting out the “master plan” of what the area will look like, types of homes or businesses it will have, parks, road layouts etc. This is submitted to City Council and voted upon. Stage 2 concerns itself more with servicing and engineering as well as addressing any outstanding land use issues not satisfactorily explained to Council. Council needs to approve the Stage 1 plan before Stage 2 planning commences. Several years can elapse between Stage 1 and 2 reports. Once the Stage 2 plan is approved, then the development guidelines set out in the NCP are used to direct servicing, infrastructure and actual development applications.
This flowchart outlines the NCP process
The Grandview Heights General Land Use Plan: a secondary use plan
Grandview Heights is governed by the 1995 Grandview Heights General Land Use Plan as a second tier of land use policy, and below that, the various NCP’s for the neighbourhoods of Grandview Heights. Every residence and business fits into the GLUP designation (and its NCPs). When an area within Grandview Heights is not subject to an NCP (such as Areas 3,5 and 4 (NCP in progress), the GLUP and then the overarching OCP is the document of guideline reference.
Here is a current map showing the GLUP boundaries in red. NCP names in are in ledger. Lands which do not have an NCP indicated are shown in yellow. (Click map to zoom)
The importance of the NCP for residents who are interested to see what has been zoned for their neighbourhood is that Council maintains that no development can occur until an NCP has been researched and passed by Council. For the purposes of the GHSA, the NCP of North Grandview has been added to our area of interest as it is adjacent to Area 5, the largest area of Grandview Heights, and one which does not have an NCP. The Redwood Park and Redwood Park Estates area is not part of the GLUP but is sentimentally part of Grandview Heights.
Where do you live?
Find your general neighbourhood on the map above to see which NCP that applies to you. Unless you live in Morgan Heights, which is virtually complete in the build-out phase, you live in an area of Grandview Heights which is experiencing or preparing to experience great change.
This is a timeline of the completion of Grandview Heights NCPs listed by Stage 2 Council approval date:
Area 3 – no NCP (more on this below)
Area 4 (Redwood Heights) No NCP but in progress (as of 2013) (more on this below)
Area 5 – no NCP (more on this below)
The GH Planning Documents top menu bar has a left “fly out” menu which drops down each of the approved NCPs for Grandview Heights. Once you have found out your area of interest on the map above, click on the pertinent NCP dropdown for more details. Or you can click the link in blue for the relevant NCP.
If you are a resident of Grandview Heights, it is good to peruse the one pertaining your home as the NCP sets out the City’s approved zoning guidelines for the subject lands. A brief overview of each NCP is provided here though because any NCP is long and challenging reading to the layperson.
A word of caution is that although a particular area may be subject to a zoning guideline, even in the NCP, it is just this, a guideline only. Developers may apply for amendments which can mean that the original “look” of the land uses recommended in the NCP originally passed by Council, and what is actually built can differ greatly while in reality.
In fact, in the GHSA’s role to share resources with residents of Grandview Heights, you will find that the Priority Concerns section of this website for the most part contains information about how concerned residents have identified and challenged amendments to active NCP’s in order to preserve the original content and intent of the zoning proposed by Planning and approved by Council. NCP zoning guidelines are not by-laws therefore they are not enforceable, although the Planning Department and Council are required to consider amendments carefully.
These links below are to the final reports approved by Council and most recent maps. For history or further reports, refer to the City of Surrey website.
NOTE: The maps below are intended to show a snapshot of the particular NCP area in the Grandview Heights context. They are as consistent as possible in scale only so to create a bearing mark, 24th Ave is shown in blue and where possible, 168th Ave is shown in purple. For larger and more specific maps including zoning colour codes, click the specific NCP City map
AREAS OF GRANDVIEW HEIGHTS WITH NO NPC
These are linked off the drop down box of this section, or just keep reading.
AREA 4 (area outlined in red; 168th Ave in purple, 24th Ave in blue)
Area 4 does not have an NCP, but since 2005, has been studied under the Stage 1 process. This was approved by Council in 2013. When stage 2 of the NCP is completed, it will be known as the Redwood Heights NCP. Funding for Stage 2 was approved on March 23, 2015.
Area 4 is adjacent to the Agricultural Land Reserve to the northeast and to Redwood Park to the south. According to the study documentation, Area 4 contains “relatively intact natural hubs and woodland corridors that provide wildlife habitat and support fish habitat in tributaries to Erickson Creek.” Future plans for this area include a diversity of housing types (single-lot family homes, cluster-housing, townhouses, rowhouses and low-rise apartments), a street network with shuttle buses, two neighbourhood shopping centres (177th St and 24th Ave as well as 182nd St and 24th Ave), parks and greenway trails, and habitat protection. It is projected that this future NCP area, when developed, would house between 8,200 to 12,970 people.
For maps and more information, click the link below to be accessed to the City documents.
AREA 3 (area outlined in red; 168th Ave in purple, 24th Ave in blue)
Area 3 has no NCP at this time. Lands there are predominantly one acre or larger, and much land is in the process of being assembled. Presumably this is to attain the 51% of resident support required to initiate an NCP. Residents who plan to remain “semi-rural” maintain their estate acreages and enjoy the peace and quiet. Because there is no NCP for Area 3, and the area is zoned under the GH GLUP and the OCP as RA (Residential Acreage 1-2 units per acre), subdivision of lots into lands smaller than ½ acre lots is not permitted.
Area 3 includes Darts Hill Park, formerly a private garden, which was deeded to the City over twenty years ago. Darts Hill is open for tours and events; check out the Trails and Parks dropdown on this website’s Resources Section.
(area outlined in red; 168th Ave in purple, 24th Ave in blue)
AREA 5 has no NCP nor at this time. An NCP is created to initiate development and must be supported by 51% of the owners of 70% of the land. Residents of Area 5, as viewed on the map above, live predominantly on one-acre suburban residential lots. Because there is no NCP for Area 5, and the area is zoned under the GH GLUP and the OCP as RA (Residential Acreage 1-2 units per acre), subdivision of lots into lands smaller than ½ acre lots is not permitted. Area 5 has been re-designated as Suburban-Urban in the OCP.
A small portion of Area 5 was assembled and created into NCP 5A, Orchard Grove in 2012.
Area 5 exists as one of the last neighbourhoods not to be re-developed into smaller lot subdivisions. In June 2014 City Council voted, with the exception of one Councillor, to allow a 36-lot development into an area that had been assembled by six like-minded neighbours (see the Priority Concerns page) but Council was clear that further intrusions would not be allowed.
One section of Area 5 as viewed in the diagram below has additional protection called “One Acre Max” meaning that only one home can be built on a one acre lot.