Surrey councillor calls for temporary development freeze along new SkyTrain route
Brenda Locke says council first needs to figure out what projects will best support the transit expansion
A Surrey city councillor wants an interim hold on the approval of development applications along the Fraser Highway SkyTrain route until there is a new land-use plan in place.
In a notice of motion to council, Coun. Brenda Locke said the city needs to make sure it builds the right infrastructure to properly support the transit expansion.
"We're talking about schools and all different, other appropriate facilities that go along with the proper development of housing," said Locke.
A staff planning review of the 17-kilometre project, which would extend the SkyTrain line from King George Station to the City of Langley, was given the go-ahead by council earlier this week.
The study should take eight to 10 months to complete.
Support for hold
Realtor Joe Varing of Varing Marketing Group specializes in land slated for development. He likes the idea of a pause on development approvals until the staff review is done.
"Fast forward five or seven years, we might look back and say, oh boy, we really under-developed these major nodes we created," said Varing.
At the same time, he acknowledges a freeze could be financially tough for developers who already have applications in the queue and are eager to get building.
Surrey Board of Trade CEO Anita Huberman says it makes no sense to approve projects before details about the new SkyTrain service are worked out.
"We don't even know where the actual stops for the SkyTrain stations are going to be," said Huberman.
Locke said a temporary development freeze would not include applications for social housing or student housing.
Her notice of motion will be discussed by city council at its next meeting on April 15.