The 26th Ave interface is literally the division line between Area 5 of Grandview Heights (no NCP) which consists entirely of acreage estate lots (with one urban infill subdivision exception) and Orchard Grove NCP 5A. Area 5 is on the north side of the street, NCP 5A is on the south side. Area 5 is governed by the Grandview Heights General Land Use Plan (2005) which is a secondary use plan but not an NCP so lacks specific zoning.

 

(26 Ave map: red= 26th Ave east to west/ Blue= 164th St. /Brown = 168th St. north-south)

 

26 ave mapIMG_6340 (26th looking east: Area 5 on left, 5A on right)

 

The interface receives much attention in the NCP land use document for 5A, begun in 2007 and passed by Council in 2012. There are three main elements of the interface:

 

Density/Character of homes on 26th Ave

 

The homes on the north side of 26th Ave (in Area 5) are zoned RA: residential acreage, ranging from new build to around 24 years old. When the GLUP was written, with the invitation of public consultation, much attention was given to “transitional density”; the concept that in any new areas adjacent to Area 5, lots would have to transition in density from one acre to smaller lots. Based on the principle of “transect,” this is usually achieved by gradual transition; a one acre lot is faced by another one acre, then a half-acre faced by a half- acre and so forth. However, when Orchard Grove 5A was written, despite residents on the north side of 26th wanting to have facing lots of one acre mirroring their own properties, the south side of 26th was zoned for 2-10 units per acre. This means that the zoning range on the south side was from 1/2 acre to high density. Residents were confident that when the time for development came, that the 2 units per acre (1/2 acre lots) zoning in the NCP would prevail, enabling lots on the south side of the street that virtually “mirrored” the properties on the north by virtue of matching frontage despite the fact that the they may be shallower in depth.

 

Much attention is given in the Orchard Grove NCP to the sensitivity of the interface, and that respecting the acreages on the north side of the street must be respected in the build-out of Orchard Grove.

 

NCP 5A trans dens     5A NCP density guide

 

Two zoning options were passed for the Orchard Grove interface:  Large Lot Single Family 2-6 units per acre OR Duplex up to 10 units per acre. The rationale for this was that in the absence of resident attachment to their homes, higher density in the form of duplexes would be available to developers. Also the rationale was made that “massing” of duplexes would be similar to existing acreage homes on the north side of the street.

 

Amenity Pathway

 

One of the hallmarks of Orchard Grove NCP from its inception in 2007 was that it was going to be a sustainable, walkable community. Since the NCP was begun almost 10 years ago, indeed, car traffic as well as pedestrian/cyclist useage of 26th Ave has increased dramatically as residents from Grandview Corners, Morgan Crossing, and Morgan Heights NCP use 26th Ave to travel to Pacific Heights Elementary School. In the near future, the Grandview Aquatic Centre, new high school and playing fields will bring even more walkers and cyclists down 26th in order to avoid the traffic of arterial 24th Ave. In fact, 26th Ave “graduated” from being a rural road to a collector road along the way, both anticipating and bringing more car  traffic.  To make this a safe place for pedestrians etc, an 8 ft wide “multi-use” pathway was planned from 164th St to 168th. This is intended to provide safe passage for pedestrians.  Laneway access only is permitted in the NCP to avoid curb cuts and disruption (and ultimately, accidents).  No driveways are permitted on to 26th Ave from the developing south side in order to ensure this safety (see above).

 

Transition Green Buffer

 

The transition buffer is zoned in the NCP to “buffer” the view from acreage homes to those potentially half their density on the south side of the street in Orchard Grove. Also, the buffer is planned to add an appealling green element to the amenity pathway.  As many mature trees will be removed in order to effect the widening of 26th Ave during the build out of Orchard Grove, the green buffer is essential. Many residents were concerned to discover that the green transition buffer does not extend, in the NCP, all the way to 168th St. In many earlier versions of the land use plan it did.  As the amenity pathway will potentially continue to 176th St past all the new amenities, the accompanying transition green buffer should ideally continue as well. As it stops at 166thSt on 26th Ave, this cause for concern for many.

 

5A land buff

 

The three elements of transitional density, amenity pathway uninterrupted by driveways, and a transition green buffer are interrelated and essential features of the 26th Ave interface.  The Orchard Grove NCP talks expansively of “placemaking” and “sustainability.” These three elements not only support this, but respect the existing acreage homeowners on the north side of the 26th Ave who want to maintain the character of 26th Ave as much as possible, within the NCP, by ensuring that these elements are not eroded by developers and speculators.

 

History of 26th Ave development in Orchard Grove

 

To date, there have been several development applications involving the 26th Ave interface. Their history and current status are chronicled by viewing the sub-menus of the Priority Concerns page or by clicking the pertinent links:

 

City of Surrey 7912-0323-00        2552-2580 164th St, Surrey  (corner of 164th St & 26th Ave)  Raicon/CitiWest

 

FINAL ADOPTION July 13, 2015 with min. 31m wide frontage lots.

 

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City of Surrey 7914-0118  26th Ave and 166th St (Tara/Hub)

Third Reading November 16, 2015

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City of Surrey 7914-0125 (Qualico/WSP)

 

FINAL ADOPTION July 27, 2015 with min 30 metre wide frontage lots.