Monday, June 12, 2023

Proposal to Convert Regional Industrial Land to Residential in Surrey's Fraser Heights

In Metro Vancouver, there are six regional land use designations; these designations help support our regional objectives to build a compact region well served by high-quality public transit, preserve industrial and employment lands, ensure food security, and conserve greenspace.

Municipal governments' land uses must align with the Regional District's land uses. Municipal Councils throughout the region appoint members to the Regional District Board. This provides a form of accountability to ensure that we meet our collective regional objectives. On the whole, this approach has been effective.

The six regional land uses are Agricultural, Conservation and Recreation, General Urban, Industrial, Mixed Employment, and Rural. You can read more about these designations on the Metro Vancouver website.

A municipality must get the Regional District Board's approval to change regional land use designations.

Municipalities have proposed three changes to regional land use designations in the last three months. Two proposed changes are in the Township of Langley in Gloucester and the Salmon River area along Fraser Highway. At the last Metro Vancouver Regional Planning Committee Meeting, Surrey proposed a change from Industrial to General Urban in the Fraser Heights area.

The proposed change is for a 10.2-hectare site located at 11420 157A Street, which would see the development of 38 single-detached homes if approved.

Existing Regional Land Use Designation

Proposed Regional Land Use Designation

The rationale for changing this Industrial land use designation to a General Urban designation is due to an escarpment that cuts this parcel off from highway access and the remainder of the industrial area, meaning that access to the site would have to be via the residential area to the south. According to Surrey and Metro Vancouver staff, this would create a potential conflict with heavy traffic going through a single detached housing area.

This proposed change will require a 50%+1 weighted vote of the Metro Vancouver Regional District Board for approval. I foresee the Metro Vancouver Regional District Board approving this proposed regional land use designation change.

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