A view of Surrey City Hall. (File photo)

A view of Surrey City Hall. (File photo)

Bolivar Heights and Green Timbers plans to go to public hearing

City council received an update Monday after two years of work by staff to develop a land use plan

Surrey city council received an update Monday night, after two years of work by staff, on the development of a land use plan for Bolivar Heights and Green Timbers.

Council instructed staff to set a public hearing for 7 p.m. Monday, July 25.

A corporate report by Surrey’s acting general manager of planning and development Jeff Arason and Scott Neuman, general manager of engineering says the plan update represents a “clear strategy to further support a compact, sustainable, and transit-oriented city centre with a diverse offering of housing types, amenities, and employment opportunities.”

Bolivar Heights District is roughly 69 hectares and contains the northeast section of Surrey’s city centre. Arason and Neuman note that when an original plan was developed in 2017 Bolivar Heights was “envisioned as a predominantly single-family neighbourhood.

“Since then, the need for a wider variety and supply of housing types has become apparent,” the corporate report states. “The city has received inquiries for denser forms of housing, including low rise apartments and townhouses, throughout the neighbourhood.”

This neighbourhood, according to the corporate report, is “re-envisioned as an evolving urban neighbourhood supporting Surrey’s vibrant and bustling city centre” that will feature low-rise apartments and townhouses “that support families and residents of all ages” centred on a “new urban, mixed-use village, offering a variety of shops and services.”

The vision is for three new parks, in addition to Grosvenor Park, Antrim Park and other amenities to be within a short walking distance for residents, “making it possible to access one’s daily needs close to home and without the need of a car.”

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The Green Timbers District forms the southeast section of Surrey’s city centre and is approximately 82 hectares. Under the 2017 plan the city envisioned this neighbourhood as “medium-density residential” and mostly comprised of low-rise apartments to “supplement nearby higher density mixed use and employment areas,” the report indicates.

But in 2018, the TransLink Mayors’ Council placed a priority on the Surrey-Langley SkyTrain and Surrey council subsequently in 2019 directed city staff to commence land use planning along Fraser Highway. This included preparing “new and updated” land use plans to support SkyTrain along that corridor resulting in the boundary being extended south from 96 Avenue to 93A Avenue to enable land use planning “around the 140 Street SkyTrain station and the consideration of SkyTrain supportive growth.”

The city’s updated vision for the Green Timbers District includes a precinct comprised of residential towers, shops and services around the planned 140 Street station with increased density proposed along 100 Avenue west of the BC Hydro Transmission Corridor.

A new park is proposed for between 94 Avenue and 94A Avenue at 139A Street, in addition to a future park on 102 Avenue at 137A Street and proposed additions to the Quibble Creek and Green Timbers Greenways.

“In addition, Quibble Creek itself, a Class A fish bearing watercourse located in this neighbourhood, will be fully protected as natural area parkland,” the corporate report indicates. “As with Bolivar Heights,” development cost charges “are expected to be adequate to fund additional parkland acquisition in the Green Timbers District.”



tom.zytaruk@surreynowleader.com

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