Genex, a long time and much-decorated Surrey developer/builder of single-family homes, town homes and condominiums, has applied for a rezoning application in Orchard Grove NCP 5A. The properties involved are 16613, 16637 & 16667 24th Ave. Here is a map showing the property location.
Several members of the GHSA board met with Genex principle Allan Ullrich in November 2014 about this proposed development before the application was submitted to the City of Surrey Planning Department. Al offered to write up an overview of the application and it’s contribution to community character which you can read below.
The proposed development on the properties at the northeast corner of 166th Street and 24th Avenue is for a 79 unit townhouse development on the northern portion of the site and a 160 unit six storey condo apartment building fronting 24th Avenue. The proposal requires a NCP amendment to move the Park location and the Green Lane from their original proposed locations in the Orchard Park NCP.
Here is a schematic of the zoning designation in and around this application, including the proposed park relocation:
The existing Orchard Park NCP shows the Park straddling many properties giving them spit designations for their ultimate use. These split designations made many of the properties difficult to sell due to increased risk factors for potential buyers. This proposal changes the NCP to follow property lines giving each existing property a single designation and allowing for development to proceed. While considering the new proposed layout for the NCP Amendment a great deal of effort was made to move the Park into the best location for the preservation of existing trees and to make the Park accessible to the neighbourhood. Previously the Park was split into two by a Green Lane called 167th Street while the proposed change maintains the integrality of the Park and facilitates access from four sides. The best grouping of trees are maintained within the Park boundaries and will provide sanctuary for wildlife in the area.
Below is an image showing the current and proposed NCP amendment with an improved Park location and quality:
The development also maintains the wildlife corridor called for along 166th Street and has added a 10 meter wide wildlife corridor through the site making a connection to the Park. Another wildlife corridor is being dedicated along 25th Avenue as well. Between the land used for City Streets, Wildlife Corridors and a multi-purpose path along 24th Avenue, over 2 acres have been committed to public use from a 7.2 Acre site.
(Land use note from the GHSA: Below is an image showing the superior trees in the new Park proposal area. By using the previously designated park land occupied by scrub and diseased trees for building development, this application provides a higher-quality park area and concept by enabling preservation of the high-value trees located around the cul-de-sac of 167 street. Although it is true that the over all area of the park is slightly smaller then the original NCP with this redesignation, the quality of the Parkland due to the preservation of mature trees is superior. Depending on the input of Park planners, the ability of the City to purchase the private land for the park, and public input, the much-anticipated Orchard Grove Park can potentially accommodate both passive green space with towering mature conifers, picnic space, as well as hard scape with playground amenities.)
The proposed development would have lower density townhomes on the area to the north of the new wildlife corridor bringing affordable housing to the area for young families and people wishing to live in close proximity to shopping as well as the new community center and Grandview Heights Aquatic Centre. The condo apartment along 24th Avenue will provide another form of housing with a more urban style to substantiate the public facilities and public transportation in the area.
This proposal should provide an improved NCP for the neighbourhood and keep the spirit of the original intention that the community put in place with the current NCP for Orchard Grove.
The site plan can be seen below (click to enlarge): For a more legible version of this plan click here
A public information meeting to present this plan in detail occurred on June 11 at Kensington Prairie Community Centre, 5:30-7:30 pm.