SURREY (NEWS 1130) – Dozens of people living near a golf course in Surrey have voiced their concerns about a proposed housing development, mainly about density.
The proposal would see 325 units, including duplexes, apartments and townhouses, built on a portion of the Eaglequest Coyote Creek golf course.
Members of the Coyote Creek Action Committee say the project will take away green-space from the area, and will mean overcrowded schools and far more traffic congestion.
“We don’t want the extra traffic on the highways, and we don’t want to lose the habitat we’ve got here,” says committee co-chair Ken McBain.
Connie Shannon lives in the area, and is concerned about traffic bottlenecks.
“We’re going to have additional traffic now,” she says. “[152nd street] is at a grid-lock at the best of times –before 2:30 p.m., we’re talking 11:30 in the morning we’re looking at grid-lock. Schools can’t handle it, 152 can’t handle it.”
Jim Norton is one of those who attended the rally, and says he’s not anti-development. “But we get to a point where we’re already at the breaking point with schools and such, and we add more to it. Then I think we’ve just gone too far.”
He’s lived in Surrey since 1974, and is also concerned about traffic congestion.
“This is just one of many areas in Surrey that has become a bottleneck at any given time of the day.”
The developer, Anthem Properties Group, has submitted a rezoning and development permit application to the City of Surrey but still has to go through a public hearing. The proposal includes putting 219 town homes, 46 duplexes and a four-storey building with 60 rental apartments on a portion of the golf course.
The plan also calls for on-site daycare, and five acres of new public parkland, among others.
Randene Neill, with Anthem, says the area needs more housing.
“There are just so many families who can’t afford to live in homes in Surrey and we need to provide the missing middle.”
She says the development group is working with traffic analysts and the City of Surrey.
“I know that the City of Surrey has planned for a road, which is called 77th Ave extension, for over a decade now and that’s one of the roads that Anthem is proposing to build between our development and the golf course…. with a set of traffic lights. So if anything, it’s going to ease traffic congestion.”
Neill says there have been consultations with neighbours about the proposal for the past two years.
Though the development would take the golf course from 18 holes down to 12 or nine, Eaglequest Coyote Creek general manager Scott Cranston says it would help the course remain viable.
“A lot of it is just an ageing infrastructure and all that. We’re not seeing the building being used as much, and it needs some attention. So this is an opportunity for us to be able to put that money back into the building and the golf course and get it to the point where it’s a gem in the community again, which is what we want and what it was at one time.”
He adds there’s been a decline in usage over the years. “Which has been a common topic of conversation in this industry.”
According to the Coyote Creek Action Committee, 2,000 signatures have already been gathered on a petition against the plan.
The proposed development is set to go before council on January 22nd.