Development on Barnston Drive that will affect traffic and the feel of Fraser Heights

There will be a public hearing for a development that will affect all of Fraser Heights on June 26 at 7:00 pm at City Hall at 13450 104 Ave, Surrey, BC V3T 1V8. The proposal below, 7916-0037-00, will be on the agenda. The developer of Highcrest at 176 St and Highway 1 has applied to increase the number of apartments in their development, and changing the proposal to allow more residences in what was previously zoned commercial (for stores and offices).

The impact on our community will be a further decline in the look and feel of our neighbourhood, more parking on the street, higher traffic accessing the highway through Fraser Heights, and increased load on our schools. If you object to this development change getting approved, you should do the following:

1. Write an email to council member and the mayor opposing – see details below

2. Go to City Hall on June 26. You can go to the main lobby between 6:30 and 6:55 where a City staff person has a list for people to sign: Name, Address & tick off “in favour” or “opposed”. You can also indicate if you would like to speak and address council. At approximately 6:55 the City staff person will collect the sheet(s), count the totals & deliver them to the Mayor in Chambers prior to the Hearing commencing.

You can then stick around for the council meeting and hear what happens at the proceeding, or simply head home now that your position has been recorded. Note that parking is underground at City Hall and is free on Council nights.

Your email can contain some of the following – please use your own words, since opposing emails with these words will be classified as only one opposing letter:

Indicate that you are writing about the development at 9933 Barnston Drive East, commonly known as Highcrest. Note that you live at (add your address here), and are affected by the development. You can then choose to include any issues on why you oppose the application, and could use any or all of the following points in your own words.

1. The Parking for Highcrest residents is already insufficient, resulting in excessive parking down 177A street, which does not even have any development on the east side but is already overloaded with parked cars from the density of development already there.

2. The project was originally approved by council in 2008 on the basis that ”While the proposal, if approved, would result in the loss of some employment lands, it has the potential to trigger the development of a neighbourhood village centre with up to 100,000 square feet of commercial space to serve the nearby emerging urban and established suburban neighbourhoods.”. With the Surrey council recently approving more developments and housing as part of the Local Area Plan for east Fraser Heights, the need for a neighbourhood village is even greater now than in was in 2008. Will the City really reverse the basis of approval for the project in the first place? Our neighbourhood is getting all the costs of the project and none of the benefits? Only the developer gains, the residents lose.

3. We need a “village centre” in the soon to be highly populated area of East Fraser Heights / Abbey Ridge. This current development proposal now seeks to reduce the commercial from 142,000 sq ft to just 4,050 sq. ft., just 3% of the originally committed amount. The only ”village centre” in Fraser Heights is at 160 St. & 108 Ave. There is clearly a need for another in the Abbey Ridge area.

4. There was great opposition from the community to the density of this proposal in 2008, resulting in it being revised downward a number of times, over concerns of overcrowding and stressing the resources in the community including but not limited to parking, traffic, schools, and transit (of which there is currently no service in this area, resulting in even greater concerns on parking and traffic).

5. The bottom line is that as a resident and caring citizen, you are expressing strong opposition to this proposal. The development should proceed on the basis upon which it was originally approved. Council should not be approving increasing density.

You can send your emails to the planner, dnip@surrey.ca. You should also send your thoughts to any and all of the mayor and council at the following email addresses:

Mayor Linda Hepner: mayor@surrey.ca

Councillor Tom Gill : TSGill@surrey.ca

Councillor Bruce Hayne: BruceHayne@surrey.ca

Councillor Vera LeFranc: Vera.LeFranc@surrey.ca

Councillor Mary Martin: MMartin@surrey.ca

Councillor Mike Starchuck: Mike.Starchuck@surrey.ca

Councillor Barbara Steele: HBSteele@surrey.ca

Councillor Judy Villeneuve: JAVilleneuve@surrey.ca

Councillor Dave Woods: Dave.Woods@surrey.ca