Surrey council has given a thumbs-up to a Stage 2 final report outlining the future of South Surrey’s Redwood Heights area.
The vision for the area – located in South Surrey’s east Grandview Heights – is “a complete community and urban village, with a focus on environmental conservation and stewardship and transit supportive development,” according to a city report detailing the Redwood Heights Neighbourhood Concept Plan.
“It looks like a wonderful place to live,” Coun. Steven Pettigrew said, in expressing thanks to city planners during council’s May 4 meeting.
“I don’t know if I can afford it, but maybe when all the different number of units go in, we’ll get some good prices for people. But congratulations to the planning department, it looks really, really good.”
The plan, according to the 315-page report, includes a biodiversity hub and two habitat corridors; a mixture of housing types providing an estimated 6,000 new residential units; an inter-connected grid of streets, cycling facilities and multi-use pathways; shopping within walking distance of most homes; outdoor recreation within a 10-minute walk; employment opportunities; and protected riparian areas.
Measuring approximately 210 hectares – with more than a third of that designated primarily for residential uses – the Redwood Heights NCP area is bounded by the Agricultural Land Reserve to the north and east, 20 Avenue and the Redwood Park Estates subdivision to the south and 176 Street (Highway 15) to the west.
Council authorized preparation of a Stage 1 land-use plan for the area in September 2009, and it was developed “over several years” using a two-stage planning process that included establishment of a citizens’ advisory committee (CAC), public open houses, surveys and more, the city report notes.
That process began in May of 2010, and council approved the draft Stage 1 land-use concept, as well as all necessary actions for the preparation of the Stage 2 components, in October 2013.
An agreement with landowners stipulated that before Stage 2 planning could start, the group would pay all costs associated with the detailed servicing studies required. That agreement was later amended to include costs associated with the planning and design of required utilities, with the city to “front end” the process and recover costs through a future surcharge on development applications within the NCP.
The plan was last presented to the public at a March 2018 open house.
Refined to reflect the input, as well as recent school site acquisitions – one of which was announced this past January – and watercourse and wetlands assessments, the final plan “reflects the community vision developed and refined through the planning process,” the report states.
“The Plan recognizes the need to develop a compact, sustainable, and livable community. It concentrates higher density land uses around a neighbourhood commercial centre near 24 Avenue and 178 Street. Densities gradually transition towards the periphery of the Plan Area and the ALR.”
Nearly a quarter of the NCP is earmarked for parks, riparian areas, landscape buffers and biodiversity conservation areas, the report adds, and 95 per cent of the neighbourhood is expected to be built out by 2035.
Just over 4.6 hectares is designated for mixed residential/commercial uses, with building heights up to six storeys allowed; schools planned include an elementary school on 3.7-hectares near 26 Avenue and 180 Street, and a private Catholic school near 182 Street and 24 Avenue.
Population in the area is expected to surpass 13,500, representing a 2.6 per cent increase in the city.
The NCP approach to planning in the area was identified in 2005, and since that time, three have been completed: Morgan Heights, Sunnyside Heights and Orchard Grove.