LATEST NEWS February 2017:

The following summary outlines the development application submission by McElhanney Consulting Services Ltd., on behalf of Chia Properties Ltd., to the City of Surrey to amend the Neighbourhood Concept Plan (NCP) and rezone and subdivide a 55-acre parcel at 17190 32 Avenue in North Grandview Heights for a new single family subdivision.

Chia Properties Ltd. has been working with the City of Surrey, local organizations and neighbours over the past 2 years to refine and modify the development plan. This summary aims to provide local area residents with insight into the rationale for this development, as well as provide an online source for information related to the application.

The application was formally submitted to the City of Surrey in October 2015, following several months of community engagement. Communications with several community groups remained frequent up until and subsequent to the December 2016 Public Information Meeting, and the project team continues to refine the plan. The final development concept will eventually go before Council for consideration, as well as to a Public Hearing for public comment.



McElhanney Consulting Services Ltd. is the primary consultant for the Chia development and responsible for planning, engineering, survey and project management. In operation in British Columbia since 1905, McElhanney has been closely involved with the growth and development of Surrey since 1966 when they opened their first office on Scott Road. Since then they have successfully undertaken countless land development projects throughout the city, as well as many capital works projects for the City. They strive to create quality developments that balance the needs of clients, residents and regulatory bodies.

Arbortech Consulting Ltd.

Based in Richmond, Arbortech provides arboricultural and urban forestry consulting services to the private and public sectors throughout Southwestern BC and Vancouver Island, including considerable project work in the City of Surrey. Their consultants are International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) certified and are tree risk assessors (TRA). Arbortech specializes in tree surveys; arborist reports for subdivision, infill, land development and tree preservation; tree risk assessments and mitigation; tree/site management plans; tree evaluations; and diagnosis of tree/landscape issues.

Sartori Environmental Services

Sartori Environmental is committed to working with proponents, public stakeholders, First Nations, and regulatory agencies to aid reasonable, responsible, and sustainable development. Successful projects in the modern development landscape require thorough assessment, early identification of environmental concerns, good science, and sound mitigation planning. In light of this, Sartori Environmental and its personnel strive to keep up to date with the most modern applied biological science, assessment methods, key regulatory decision makers, construction processes, and a wide array of active stakeholder groups. Sartori Environmental was instrumental for the Port Mann – Highway 1 Improvement project’s environmental compliance which is considered one of the largest current infrastructure construction projects in North America



The Chia development application proposes to rezone 17190 32 Avenue from One Acre Residential Zone (RA) to Comprehensive Development (CD), based on the Half-Acre Residential Gross Density Zone (RH-G) zone and subdivide it into approximately 126 single family lots. The proposed land use and density is consistent with the Official Community Plan’s Suburban designation, and thus an OCP amendment is not required.

The overall development concept, in terms of lot size and orientation and open space, is primarily driven by tree protection and buffering/integration with neighbouring properties, while road network configuration is based on the North Grandview NCP. In keeping with the neighbourhood character, the application offers 13.9 acres of the 55.21 acre site as open space, representing approximately 25.2% of the property, and an average lot size of 954 square metres. The development’s gross density is approximately 2.28 units per acre, based on a gross site area of 55.21 acres.

The Chia development application was submitted to the City of Surrey on October 7, 2015 and is subject to City’s development review process. This includes a rigorous review of land use, subdivision design, tree preservation and engineering servicing proposals. This review can, and most likely will, result in changes to the development concept. The Chia team recently held a Public Information meeting on December 6, 2016, to present the latest plans and to further garner community feedback.

This development proposal assumes the following amendments to the North Grandview Neighbourhood Concept Plan (NCP):

1. Update the land use from Proposed One Acre Residential Gross Density (RA-G) to Larger Transition Lots (2-3 upa);
The nearby April Creek project was based on an NCP amendment to this designation.
2. Update the local road network;

3. Update site servicing, including the addition of a community stormwater detention pond and refinements to the North Grandview Interceptor alignment; and,
4. Update the open space configuration.

The proposed amendments to the North Grandview NCP can be rationalized as follows:

The Chia property was assigned the Proposed One-Acre Residential Gross Density (RA-G) in the original iteration of the North Grandview NCP in consideration of the absence of services, particularly sanitary sewer. The introduction of sanitary sewer service in North Grandview has triggered reconsideration of the NCP to permit more intensive land uses. These changes represent the history and pattern of development within the neighbourhood, starting in the western part of the plan area between 160 Street and 168 Street. This progression to the east of 168 Street continues with the Chia and neighbouring properties.


The land use and density complies with the Suburban designation in the recently updated Official Community Plan (OCP), and maintains the high standards established with the recently approved April Creek project at 168 Street and 32 Avenue, in terms of lot size, density and tree preservation.

The proposed development concept is the result of an intensified focus on tree preservation. Employing an iterative design process where road, lot and open space layout is guided by tree preservation objectives, rather than vice versa as is often the practise, the result is a higher than typical level of tree preservation. Additionally, a combination of tree protection and buffers mitigates new development impacts on neighbouring properties, while building design guidelines will contribute to a complementary and cohesive development. Design guidelines will also limit the visual effect of homes on the hillside and project phasing will help to reduce impacts due to construction and traffic as the project is completed. The development concept also ensures watercourse protection and provides for extra open space dedication (i.e., approximately 25.2% of gross land area, as opposed to the typically required 15%).

The modified road network reflects traffic management strategies and site servicing requirements, including the North Grandview Interceptor as directed by the City of Surrey. There will be no significant impacts on local servicing infrastructure (i.e., water), and new sanitary sewer and stormwater infrastructure will be developed to support the new development.



Stakeholder Open House

On Thursday, June 25, 2015 a Stakeholder Open House for Chia’s development proposal was held at the Kensington Prairie Community Centre. This was a unique event as it was held prior to the actual submission of a development application. The meeting was both successful and productive with 107 people registering, 9 comment sheets received at the meeting and 9 other individuals submitting comments by mail or email following the meeting. The feedback received was very insightful and helped to fine-tune the development concept.

Initial stakeholder feedback outline the following primary themes: • Tree retention
• General traffic impacts
• Density

• Trail system
• Demands on infrastructure • Water well safety
• Preservation of streams
• No multi-family
• Privacy
• Sewer access

Changes to the Original Plan Prior to Application (June 2015 – October 2015)

The following amendments were made to the original development concept, many resulting from the feedback received from the community and the City during this pre-application phase.

The most significant change was the removal of multi-family units at the north end of the site.

A 6m landscape buffer was added at the southeast corner of the site creating a connection to interior sidewalks and open space and providing continuity in the pedestrian system.

An alternative road section was developed for 172 Street between 32 Ave and Country Woods Drive that calls for a double row of trees on the west side of 172 Street. This will provide green buffering/screening and a north-south green link for existing residents. It will allow for a “rural” road character to remain in place. Servicing corridors were changed from on-lot statutory right-of-ways to dedicated public corridors that will double as green pedestrian corridors linking cul-de-sac streets to open spaces.



Further Changes Made (January 2016 – Present)

Following the formal submission of the application, the project team has continued dialogue with the community through maintaining communications with the Grandview Heights Neighbourhood Association and the Country Woods Residents Association, individual resident trail walks with members of the neighbourhood, and one on one conversations to address the key concerns of the community. As a result of these conversations, we heard the following key points:

  1. Trails and access to nature are valuable community assets;
  2. Large lots and lower densities are key to the local way of life;
  3. Quiet, peaceful roads are important to the community.

In response to what was heard from the community, the following revisions were made to the plan:

  1. Better integration of proposed trail networks with existing trails;
  2. Reduced overall density and increased lot dimensions;
  3. Proposed traffic calming measures to slow vehicles and increase pedestrian safety.

Public Information Meeting

On December 6th, 2016, the project team hosted a Public Information Meeting at the Morgan Elementary School gymnasium to discuss the latest version of Chia’s development proposal. About 80 neighbours attended, with seven City of Surrey staff members observing the proceedings. The meeting began in an Open House format with a series of project panels on display, followed by a presentation and facilitated question and answer period.

Participants were encouraged to provide their comments through the questionnaire provided. High level summary of the feedback are as follows:

Of the respondents:

  •   60%supportedtheChiaproposalingeneral;
  •   81%likedourTreeRetentionPlan;
  •   73% liked where the open spaces were located, and
  •   46% of the neighbourhood felt that a signalized intersection at 32 Ave and 172 St was the toppriority measure to calm traffic in the area.

    Next Steps

    The final development concept will eventually go before Council for consideration, as well as to a Public Hearing for public comment. We anticipate the public hearing in the spring of 2017.



Will the trees be retained? How do you decide which ones to keep?

We have retained Arbortech Consulting Ltd. who is a trusted and respected urban forestry consultant as one of the first components of the site investigation, before any project design commenced. All key trees were located and surveyed accurately by McElhanney Associates Land Surveying Ltd. After assessing all on-site trees in terms of their suitability for preservation, Arbortech worked with the design team to develop a tree retention scheme in context to the proposed land use and with reference to city regulatory requirements. Through a comprehensive design process that included arborist reviews to advise on construction impacts and mitigation opportunities, the project design was developed with a tree preservation strategy that successfully protects key conifer (evergreen) trees and vast tree stands of mixed species. The city planning department will review the tree preservation findings and work with the project team to refine the tree retention plan with respect to inter-departmental reviews. And, as per city policy, replacement trees will be provided for removed trees at a ratio of 2:1 for conifer and most broadleaf trees, and 1:1 for alder and cottonwood trees.

Are there any design controls? Will the finished product fit the design of the current neighbourhood?

We have retained Tynan Design Ltd. to prepare building design guidelines that address external design and building materials of future dwellings. The purpose is to ensure that future homes achieve a high quality standard and be complimentary of existing dwellings.

What are you doing about the sewer?

The proposed land use and density requires that new development be serviced with municipal sewer. A condition of final approval will be that a sanitary sewer service will have to be extended to the Chia property, at the developer’s expense. While existing residences that are presently on septic systems are not required to connect to the new sewer, it will be designed and sized to ensure that neighbouring properties can connect to it in the event that property owners decide to do so.

Are you taking any measures for traffic calming along 172 Street?

At the initial stakeholder engagement meeting this past June, concern about neighbourhood traffic management was raised as an important neighbourhood issue. We will share this feedback with city staff during the development review process to discuss possible solutions. A Traffic Impact Assessment (traffic engineering study) is being done by McElhanney, based on terms of reference developed in consultation with the City of Surrey and will consider the impact of new development on the existing road network. If merited, traffic calming and traffic signal lights will be installed, subject to city approval.

Will the trails within the Chia project connect to the existing, neighbouring Country Woods trail system?

The proposed trail system for the Chia project offers a new recreational amenity for existing and future neighbours, and aligns with the Country Woods trail system. Care was taken to provide an east west connection across the Chia Property.


What is the expected timeframe for completion?

Formal application was made to the city in October 2015 and it often takes 12 – 15 months before final approval for a development proposal is granted by the city. Following this, new infrastructure (i.e., roads, water, sanitary sewer, stormwater detention ponds) must be constructed, which can take 6 to 12 months. Only after the infrastructure is in place can house construction commence; the pace of which will be dictated by market conditions.



On June 25th, McElhanney Engineering and Pottinger Bird Consultants hosted a stakeholders meeting to introduce a potential upzoning amendment of the North Grandview Neighbourhood Concept Plan. This is initially proposed for a 50 acre property owned by Chia, located adjacent to Country Woods and Grandview Estates.

The proposal introduced 14,000 square foor (4 unit per acre) lots plus two areas of multi-family via an NCP amendment.



Click here to view presentation literature shared at this meeting.


The Chia application was submitted to the city of Surrey in October 2015 and is subject to the City’s development review process. This includes a rigorous review of land use subdivision design tree preservation and engineering servicing proposals. This review can and most likely will result in changes to the development concept. Residence and the surrounding public will be able to review and comment on changes at future engagement events and/or by contacting:

City Planning: Daniel Sturgeon 604-591-4060

Traffic Engineering: Residents who are concerned about 31st Ave. and 30A Ave. being extended may also email to Janelle Frank, Engineering Assistant (604-591-4892)

Water/draining Engineering: direct to Daniel Sturgeon and he will refer to the appropriate department.

All other questions/concerns: Virginia Bird (Pottinger Bird Community Relations) 604-801-5008

Share your ideas/concerns: The GHSA Blog is always open for residents to share ideas/concerns. Just email to post your piece. How about a photo essay of the property and trails?

This re-zoning and NCP amendment proposal is in the initial review stage. Before the Planning Report to Council is written (just before First and Second Reading) there is opportunity for residents to voice concerns or give support to the re-zoning. After receiving Second reading, the application will go to Public Hearing (where you can speak to Council about the land use) and then receive Third Reading (or be referred back to Staff if more work is required). After this point (3rd reading) the re-zoning does not change.


Applicant:  (McElhanney Consulting Services on behalf of Chia Properties Ltd)
The Chia application proposes to rezone 17190 32nd Ave from One Acre Residential Zone (RA) to Comprehensive Development (CD), based on the Half-Acre Residential Gross Density (RH-G) zone.  Subdivision into about 133 single family lots. This requires an amendment to the North Grandview NCP.

Overall development concept: “in terms of lot size orientation and open space, development is primarily driven by tree protection and buffering/integration with neighboring properties while road network figuration is based on the North Grandview NCP.”

GHSA has been presented with application package. Due to the size of this package (click here) and the ability to zoom in on the maps, it is best to open it to view the details properly. Site maps are displayed below but the actual application PDF may offer better zoom abilities.
PDF Table of contents:
Summary and rationale – p 3  (Tree preservation, road network, lot sizes, buffering)
Community input from June 25 meeting – p 4
Frequently asked questions – p 5 – 6
Site maps – pages 7 onwards.


(as mentioned, you will get better zoom abilities by viewing them on the PDF linked above).

Chia 1


chia 2

chia 3


Now that the public can view these plans (thanks to Pottinger Bird for sharing), ideas and concerns generated by the community can be gathered. Please email these to if you wish them to be part of this page as presentation of information. Also, you will be informed of upcoming Public Information Meetings and Council dates.