Maintaining 9 Avenue as a dead-end (left) road and protecting McNally Creek (right) are among concerns area residents have with a development proposed for the 16200-block of 10 Avenue, but the proponent says some aspects are out of his hands. (File photos)

Developer ‘trying to set facts straight’ about South Surrey project

Decisions on residents’ key issues of concern are up to city, says applicant

The project manager of a development eyed for the 16200-block of 10 Avenue says despite rumours to the contrary, there are no plans to “napalm all the trees” and put 9 Avenue through to Highway 99.

James Evans said the two points are among “a lot of false information floating around” regarding McNally Creek Development Ltd.’s application to the City of Surrey for rezoning to enable construction of 38 single-family homes at 16220 and 16260 10 Ave.

“We’ve been out trying to set the facts straight,” Evans told Peace Arch News.

PAN reported last week that residents of two area groups have concerns with the development, each for different reasons.

The 9th Avenue Residents Association is petitioning to maintain their road as a dead-end; and, Friends of McNally Creek want to ensure the adjacent greenbelt and wildlife corridor are protected.

The Friends are also opposing an application to have an existing house on the site’s northeast corner declared heritage, preferring that the lot become, ultimately, part of the wildlife corridor.

Both groups acknowledge development in the area is inevitable. Evans agreed, describing the two lots in question as “sort of the last piece of the puzzle, the missing tooth,” in a neighbourhood that has been developing over the past 34 years. But Evans – who said he is “the guy that’s looking to buy” the properties – said decisions on both the heritage application and the 9 Avenue connection are not up to him.

For the latter, City of Surrey staff have said completing the road is “appropriate.”

Evans said he has proposed a gravel walkway wide enough for emergency vehicles – and blocked to everyday traffic by removable bollards – as an alternative, “to address the concerns of area residents.”

“Ultimately, it’s up to the city if that is approved,” he said.

Evans said word that 266 trees are earmarked for removal should the development proceed is another point of contention. He said he doesn’t know where that number came from.

“Are some trees going to go? You bet, absolutely,” he said. “But we are going to take and save those trees that are special trees.”

Evans described 9 Avenue residents’ concerns – which include increased traffic volume and decreased property values – as “all totally valid.”

“That’s why I’ve been down there trying to see (if there is an alternative).”

But as with the heritage designation, the connection decision is “not my decision to make,” he said.

“We’re trying our best to come up with a responsible development that responds to the desires of the neighbourhood.”

If the application is approved, Evans said the hope is to start the project late next year.

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