The site of a proposed 42-townhouse development, at 28 Avenue and King George Boulevard. (Tracy Holmes photo)

OK to sacrifice density for trees: Hayne

Council refers South Surrey townhouse project back to staff

An application to build a 42-townhouse complex on 2½ acres in the 2800-block of King George Boulevard in South Surrey has been referred back to staff, following a unanimous vote by Surrey council.

Ekram 68 Project Ltd. had asked for a development variance permit, a Local Area Plan amendment and a zoning amendment bylaw to put seven buildings on a triangular-shaped piece of property at 2845 and 2855 King George Blvd. and 15073 27B Ave.

Setbacks were sought to ensure room for the required visitor parking.

The proposed density and tree removal were key concerns of residents who spoke at a public hearing held prior to council’s April 9 vote.

Architect Doug Johnson told council the proposal followed a long design process that included “a lot of public involvement.”

“We’ve gone through great lengths to try to do the best we can and accommodate our neighbours’ concerns,” he said.

In making a motion to refer the proposal back to staff, Coun. Bruce Hayne cited density and tree loss.

“By the very nature that we need a development variance permit with setbacks just to accommodate the visitor parking and so on, I think… I would like staff to look at some added tree retention, and if it means sacrificing a little bit of density on the site, I’d be fine with that as well,” Hayne said. “It just seems to be trying… to get just too many units on a very awkward site.”

Seven people voiced their opinions during the public hearing, with the majority opposed to the project in its current form.

In addition to “massive” tree loss, speakers named engine noise and exhaust from residents of the proposed development, as well as an increase to traffic as among concerns.

Immediately prior to the referral vote, council voted 6-3 against giving the application third reading. Couns. Tom Gill, Mike Starchuk and Vera LeFranc supported third reading.

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