An artist’s rendering of a building at the corner of 142nd Street and 103A Avenue. The development would be rezoned to “comprehensive development zone” from “single family residential zone.” (Image: City of Surrey)

Surrey council

Surrey resident says proposed apartment building is a ‘monstrosity’ in Whalley neighbourhood

Philip Galbraith says he voted for Safe Surrey Coalition to ‘slow down development’

A six-storey, 80-unit apartment building received third reading despite opposition to the proposal.

At Monday’s (April 15) meeting, council gave third reading for a rezoning amendment bylaw for the building at the corner of 142nd Street and 103A Avenue. The development would be rezoned to “comprehensive development zone” from “single family residential zone.”

But Philip Galbraith, who’s lived in a townhouse near the proposal for 20 years, said he objected to “that kind of density, moving from single-family dwelling to an 80-unit, six-storey apartment block.”

“That kind of development needs to be taking place I would say on 104 Avenue, which has been badly neglected,” Galbraith told council. “Here you’re going to try and take a single-family neighbourhood, all those families directly across on 103A Avenue and put this monstrosity six-storey building on top of all these single-family dwellings.”

Galbraith said he would support the plans if it was a townhouse project, adding that the neighbourhood has had a number of the developments in the vicinity.

“This small development townhouse situation, I think, works not too badly for that area. But to go with large apartment blocks like that, I think that’s a totally wrong move for the city t be looking at. There’s plenty of land along 104 that’s never, ever been developed properly.”

Architect Gerry Blonski said the building is “designed for the future, whether it’s LRT or some kind of rapid transit on 104th Avenue.”

“We worked with planning on this for over two years, it satisfies every requirement… I think it’s going to be a starting development in that area, and it’ll help to get rid of those derelict houses,” Blonski said.

Galbraith said he voted for Safe Surrey Coalition, noting he was pleased to hear they were going to “slow down development.”

“It’s the same old song. Nothing’s really changed.”

Before council voted on the project, Councillor Steven Pettigrew said he felt council should be listening to strata organizations.

“I’ve had two people from the strata approach me on this one that live in the same complex across the street that I also live in. We still need to listen, even if I am part of that,” said Pettigrew, adding there are concerns around schools and infrastructure.

The projected number of school-aged children living in the development would be four students attending Lena Shaw Elementary and four students attending Guildford Park Secondary.

Council ended up giving third reading to the proposal, with Councillor Steven Pettigrew voting against it.

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