Two major townhouse projects are expected to be introduced to council on Monday night (Dec. 17). One of the developments includes a mixed-use residential and commercial building, which would have 71 apartment units. (City of Surrey)

Clayton townhouse projects sent back to staff over school capacity concerns

‘We’re really stressing out the school systems here’ says Surrey Councillor Steven Pettigrew

Surrey council has referred two large townhouse development applications in the rapidly growing Clayton neighbourhood back to staff over school capacity concerns.

The two major townhouse projects, if approved, would be built just over a kilometre away from Salish Secondary school. Developers propose to build 96 townhouses and 71 apartment units at 18855 and 18805 72 Avenue. In a separate application north of that development, 166 townhouses are proposed for three lots at 18738, 18726 and 18702 74 Avenue, 850 metres from the school.

In all, the pair of applications would mean 333 housing units constructed in the area.

“We’re seeing a bit of a pattern here now,” said Councillor Steven Pettigrew of the two applications during the Dec. 17 council meeting, noting another application in the area was considered at the last meeting. “We have these large, large developments going into an area and we’re really stressing out the school systems here.”

Pettigrew noted Clayton Elementary, which all three applications would feed into, is at 160 per cent capacity.

“The (Salish) Secondary school is OK, at 73 per cent,” he noted, “but no new schools are going to be built for another year and a half. It’s putting a lot of stress on this area for the schools, the parents.”

Pettigrew tabled motions for both applications to be referred back to staff to “have it matching up so the completion date of the project is tied into the completion date of the schools.”

The motions both passed, with just Councillor Laurie Guerra opposed.

Councillor Jack Hundial echoed Pettigrew’s comments that development is “stressing out the school system” and other infrastructure in the area.

Hundial asked staff “in the future, for any more applications coming forward, to make the applicant aware and caution that this is something council is looking at. And to be mindful of that.”

Councillor Mandeep Nagra took issue with the 96-unit application stating it would only mean 28 new students for the nearby schools.

“I think the number is way off,” he said, asking for “realistic” numbers in the future.

As well as neighbouring the new Salish Secondary, the proposed developments would be near three major townhouse developments (which have a combined 249 townhouses) approved by city council earlier this year.

If the latest proposals are ultimately approved, they would add 262 townhouses and 71 apartments, putting the total at 582 residential units to be built within about a kilometre of the new school within the next few years.

Townhouses, apartments along 72 Avenue

These two lots along 72 Avenue could be the future home of 96 townhouses and 71 apartment units.
These two lots along 72 Avenue could be the future home of 96 townhouses and 71 apartment units.

Google Maps

The application for the land at 18855 72 Avenue and 18805 72 Avenue proposes 96 townhouse units and a five-storey mixed-use building that would have 71 apartments and eight commercial units. To proceed, the development would require an amendment of the official community plan, to allow the land to be rezoned from commercial to high density residential and mixed-used commercial.

The 188 Street and 72 Avenue intersection has been identified by the city as a “future village centre of the Clayton community,” according to the city report. The rationale for the community plan amendment, according to the developer, is so that the development may “enhance” the future centre.

All 153 of the trees on site will be removed — the developer proposes to plant 118 replacement trees and pay a $9,200 fee to the city.

An estimated 28 students will be enrolled at Clayton Elementary and 16 students at Salish Secondary as a result of the development, according to the report.

If the project was to receive approval, the developer believes the townhouses would be ready for occupancy by fall 2020.

Townhouses along 74 Avenue

One of the proposals is to turn these three lots into 166 townhouses.
One of the proposals is to turn these three lots into 166 townhouses.

Google Maps

Meantime, the proposal to build 166 townhouses on three lots at 18738, 18726 and 18702 74 Avenue would require an amendment to the West Clayton Neighbourhood Concept Plan to proceed, which currently proposes to move a watercourse. The developer proposes to amend the plan so that the Class B watercourse on the site can remain where it is currently, which would also allow the site to retain a row of mature trees.

Of the 180 trees on site, 23 would be retained. The developer will plant 253 replacement trees and pay a $2,000 fee to the city.

The report indicates an estimated 42 students would be enrolled at Clayton Elementary School, and 22 students to Salish Secondary, as a result of the development, which the applicant indicated would be completed and move-in ready by 2022 or 2023.



editor@cloverdalereporter.com

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