Current Status: Duplexes passed third reading.

This property has an NCP guideline zoning of Large Lot Single Family (2-6 units per acre) OR Duplex (2-10 units per acre).

Application went to Public Hearing on July 27th with a petition of over 350 neighbours opposing duplexes and supporting the single family zoning. Council overall approved the duplex concept. Council listened to concerns from homeowners about the disconnect between single family everywhere on 26th and the density bump of 9 upa duplexes, however did not declare that the alternate zoning of Large Lot Single Family should be pursued.

July 27th: 3rd reading denied. Referred back to Staff for further work.

November 16th: 3rd reading granted. Applicant removed one duplex and added a 4metre green buffer. Residents remain outraged at the density inequity and manner in which the applicant refused to engage with taxpayers despite consistent and accurate reference to the NCP and the work of other developers on the interface who worked with the community.

See below for History, Media coverage and more.

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This application consists of a long, narrow piece of land at 16706 26th Ave and 2584 166St, which is essentially the corner of 26th and 166th St, continuing east to 167th St.  It is backed to the south by a recently-approved plot of land that will house RF zone single-family lots developed by Qualico. The application’s land equals two acres.

Zoning in this location : a tiny segment of the 26th Ave. frontage is for Single-Family Small Lot 10 to 15 units per acre.

The balance of the zoning is for Large Lot Single-Family (2 to 6 units per acre) or Duplex (up to 10 units per acre).

Please refer to information about the 26th Ave. interface on this menu for more information about transitional density in this location and the commitment of the Orchard Grove NCP to respect the sensitive interface between acreage homes on the north side of the street versus new development on the south side.

 

26:166A duplex area

The proposal, which can be viewed in the Priority Items – Recent Development Applications page is for 18 duplexes and the removal of the transition landscape buffer. The application was posted in December 2014.

Here is the location (click to enlarge):

Duplex application 26th location

Below is the lot layout.

Lot Layout – Op 7 – 2014-05-23 (14026)

Here are the specifics of the application. Note that because of the re-orientation of a lane, there purports to not be enough room for the zoned transition landscape buffer. The layout proposes 18 duplexes, so 18 families on the south side of 26th would be across from 2.5 families on 166A St. and 26th Ave. 16 of the duplex lots are 12m across; 2 are 8 m. or less.

14-0118 rezoning

A Public Information Meeting was held for area residents on January 7, 2015.  Unanimous response from residents was that not only were duplexes not wanted on 26th Ave for various reasons (density/property value disparity between north and south side of street, parking issues, “massing” from a built duplex does not equal a single family home equivalent to those on the north side of the street, concerns about the likelihood of duplexes used as rental stock rather than the stable single-family character of 26th over the last 2 decades) BUT that residents wondered that since application 7912-0323 had been turned back from first and second reading recently, why another duplex application was being put forward when the first application was closed and in fact resolved at  31 m wide frontage lots on 26th Ave (Third Reading March 23, 2015).

A second public information meeting was held on planned  April 15th, 6-8 pm at Jessie Lee Elementary School in the gym. Click here for the invitation letter.

This letter informs the public that the developer, previously unnamed, is Tara Developments.  Also that the applicant has engaged a marketing firm to assist with community engagement and presentation about the duplexes, now described as “country estate duplexes.” These duplex lots which average 12 m frontages are located on “two estate lots.” At this meeting architectural renderings for estate homes were shown.  The developers, although present for a portion of the meeting, did not answer residents’ questions. The civil engineer named in the application did not attend.

A third meeting between the Developer’s Group (Applicants not in attendance) and 15 neighbours immediate to the property was held in May at the Planning Department. During this meeting, the Developer’s group of paid consultants kept to their script that “the application is within the NCP” (which it is, as the proposed zoning is Large Lot Single Family 2-6 units per acre OR Duplex up to 10 units per acre) and did not accept any of the neighbourhood’s concerns. Click here to read the Appendix to the Planning report for specific concerns. At this meeting, Nicholas Lai, the South Surrey Planning Manager made a decision to bring a small resident’s group and the Developer’s group to the table in order to negotiate an alternative. This was the process used to evolve Raicon’s duplex application to the west on 26th Ave (12-0323) to interface lots in the Large Lot Single Family zone ranging from 31 to 34m wide, with a “unit per acre” calculation of about 3.6 upa. This 3.6 upa was accepted by the neighbourhood in March 2015 as a reasonable transition compromise to 1 upa across the street.

A resident’s group was formed and awaited a meeting as directed by Mr. Lai. However, the Applicant decided that it was useless to meet further as they do not want to make any changes to their plans despite neighbourhood disapproval.  The file was put on the Council agenda for July 13 and a Planning Report was written.

The Developer’s group via their architect has focused much energy on creating aesthetically-pleasing renderings of “country estate duplexes” with the argument that built form and massing eradicates any concern that there is a disconnect between residential acreage homes facing duplexes (on the equivalent of RF 12 lots or less).  The Planning Report to Council did not recommend this application for First and Second reading but is recommonded that Mayor and Council refer the application “back to staff.” This means that the process that was directed by Mr.Lai could continue.

This duplex file went to the City Council Land Use meeting on Monday, July 13 and was passed 7-1 for First/Second reading despite the Planning Department’s  recommendation that Council refer this application back to staff so there can be proper community consultation.     Meaningful neighbourhood participation was silenced. Public Hearing was scheduled for July 27th.

Read our recap and concerns in this report to Mayor and Council.

Here is the Planning Report which recommends “referral back” so an alternate lot plan (single family homes) can be negotiated.

July 21: MEDIA  Letter to the editor of the Peace Arch News regarding the process.

July 23: MEDIA  Peace Arch News/Surrey Leader article (Tracy Holmes) reflecting neighbourhood frustration at the process this application has had.

On July 27th, the duplex application went to Public Hearing with a petition of over 350 neighbouring residents against duplexes on 26th Ave. Many presenters spoke to the need to maintain the single family nature of the street in light of existing next-door precedents.

Residents, backed by the petition, hoped that Council would provide a strong and unequivocal direction to Planning and to any potential developers on 26th Avenue that only large lot single family homes are going to be accepted on the south side of 26th avenue.  Residents are facing multiple development applications and this direction will ease the concerns of homeowners and ensure that spirit of the NCP in terms of the goal of “sensitive transition” is upheld.  How 26th Ave is treated going forward should be of vital interest to homeowners living in similar transition areas everywhere in Surrey no matter what the relative size of homes or lots are.

Council spoke generally in favor of the duplexes and their appropriateness for 26th Ave. Many Councillors heard the need for further dialogue to close the impasse between the developer and residents.

CLICK HERE TO VIEW THE PH VIDEO. (Select July 27th from calendar, then PH regular council. Fast forward to 00:42:00 for the delegations, fast forward to 02:20:28 for Council’s discussion about their decisions.

The vote to pass 3rd reading was defeated. Council then referred the application “back to staff” to make the duplex plan more palatable for the streetscape. Suggestions from one Councillor to “remove a few” to make more space in between so the duplexes “don’t look like row houses” and to add trees for a mini- landscape buffer (which was removed from the application at the outset.

Response? 350 taxpayers who signed the petition to oppose duplexes are shocked that Council did not recommend that the applicant change the plan to single family homes as per the standard of the street and new development on 26th in Orchard Grove. Residents and the GHSA await the opportunity to hear Planning’s ideas resulting from Council’s direction to close the gap on the impasse.

August 5th: MEDIA follow up on Tracy Holmes July 23 PAN/Surrey Leader Article

The ongoing issue of maintaining appropriate transitional density (as per the NCP) from 2.5 acreage homes on the north side of the street (equivalent frontage) to 16 duplex homes and one Small Lot Single Family Lot (total 17 units) on the south side of the street persists.

Further Conversation

If you have an opinion about this and want to express it to Mayor and Council,  email addresses are below.

Resources

City of Surrey Planning Department contact for this application:  Heather Kamitakahara Hkamitakahara@surrey.ca

Developer’s Agent (the Applicant) Hub Engineering: Mike Kompter mgk@hub-inc.com

City Council Members

Linda Hepner: mayor@surrey.ca

Judy Villeneuve: javilleneuve@surrey.ca

Mary Martin: mmartin@surrey.ca

Barbara Steele: hbsteele@surrey.ca

Bruce Hayne: BruceHayne@Surrey.ca

Tom Gill: tsgill@surrey.ca

Vera LeFranc Vera LeFrac

Mike Starchuk: mike.Starchuk@surrey.ca

Dave Woods: Dave.Woods@surrey.ca

City Clery clerks@surrey.ca

 

City of Surrey Documentation

Orchard Grove 5A NCP

 

Our local newspapers also welcome letters and commentary. Email them at

Peace Arch News http://www.peacearchnews.com/contact_us/

Surrey Leader      http://www.surreyleader.com/contact_us/

Surrey Now          http://www.thenownewspaper.com/contact-us

Should you want further information on this project, you can view its progress on COSMOS