Rendering shows proposed highrise towers in Guildford. (Photo: surrey.ca)

Surrey

Height, traffic concerns over pair of proposed highrises in Guildford

City receives 229-signature petition opposed to the plan, which Surrey council has yet to consider

A plan that would see a pair of highrises built in Guildford is coming up against community opposition.

All told, the proposal would see the construction of 270 dwelling units between two buildings, one 12 storeys high and the other 24, at 15140 and 15110 101st Ave.

A total of 187 apartments are proposed in the highrise and 83 in the midrise, ranging from 492 to 1,595 square feet in size. Another 1,178 square feet of ground-floor commercial and retail space is planned.

Council is set to consider the application for the first time on Nov. 4 as opposition surfaces to the plan.

The city has received a 229-signature petition from locals opposed to the plan, all from neighbouring buildings to the west of the property.

Concerns are mostly related to traffic, parking, density and building height.

Staff say those concerns are “consistent with comments received in response to the pre-notification letters and those conveyed” at a public information meeting. The city has heard from some residents that the building heights are “too tall and should only be four to six storeys.”

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(Rendering show proposed highrise towers in Guildford. Photo: surrey.ca)

In a report to council, staff say the “proposed density and building form are appropriate for this part of Guildford Town Centre, and confirms with the goal of achieving higher density development in a town centre and in close to frequent transit service,” noting the property is within walking distance of public transit on 150th and 152nd Streets as well as 104th Avenue.

In the council report, staff point to other highrise buildings nearby, including a pair of 16-storey residential towers to the west along 101st Avenue at 150th Street, a 21-storey residential building to the northwest at 104th Avenue and 148th Street and the 21-storey Sheraton Vancouver Guildford Hotel.

This latest plan, if approved, would “support the vitality of the town centre,” staff note.

To proceed, the property must be rezoned from C-8 to CD, and a development permit is required. The developer is seeking a reduction in indoor amenity space as part of the proposal.

Council approved stage one of the Guildford Town Centre – 104 Avenue Corridor Plan last July. This particular property is designated mid to high rise mixed use in that plan, and staff say this proposal is “consistent with this designation in terms of built form and uses.”

The developer is seeking a 20 per cent increase in the permitted density of 3.5 gross FAR (floor-to-area-ratio), to 4.2, proposing a monetary amenity contribution of more than $1.35 million. The city would use those funds towards community amenity needs in the area.

But, staff note the plan could not proceed to final approval until stage two of the TCP was approved by council.

If the high-rise proposal proceeds, the developer would provide road dedication for the widening of 101st Avenue, the future 151st Street and a new north/south road (151A Street).

The two towers are projected to result in 29 new students to local public schools; 25 at Bonaccord Elementary and four at Johnston Heights Secondary.

Occupancy is planned for the summer or fall of 2021.

The agent on the proposal is Joseph Lau of ZGF Cotter Architects Inc.



amy.reid@surreynowleader.com

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