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417 trees will be felled in South Surrey development

A developer is planning to build a commercial and business complex at this South Surrey site. - Kevin Diakiw/Photo
A developer is planning to build a commercial and business complex at this South Surrey site.
— image credit: Kevin Diakiw/Photo

A significant commercial development in South Surrey is forging ahead to public hearing, despite council concerns about tree loss and traffic impacts.

Morgan Place Developments Ltd. is planning a commercial and office space development on a 25-acre parcel of property at 20 Avenue, just east of Highway 99 (pictured below).

The development, valued at more than $100 million, will include 25,95

3 sq. meters (279,000 square feet) of retail and restaurant uses and 9,662 sq. meters (104,000 square feet) of office space. It will have 1,330 parking stalls, 676 of which will be underground.

Thomas Ivanore, of  Morgan Place Developments, told The Leader Thursday he's in discussions with "several" anchor tenants, but wouldn't say whether Target was one of them.

As part of the development, 417 trees will be felled, leaving just 22 of the existing trees uncut.


Most of those (371) are cottonwood and alder, which don't survive well amid development, according to a staff report to council. The rest are a mix of cedar, spruce, walnut, willow, maple, cherry and other trees.

Coun. Barinder Rasode said at Monday's council meeting she was uncomfortable with the size of the tree cut  and asked staff to work with the developer to save more.

Mayor Dianne Watts said it all depends on the make-up of the trees.

"I know there's some scrub trees there and some significant trees there, so they're going to have to do that analysis," Watts said.

Rasode asked staff to work with the developer to save more trees.

Ivanore said he'll be replacing double the number of trees with more valuable ones, such as maple.

Coun. Tom Gill had some concerns about water and sewer servicing over the long term in the area, as well as traffic issues in the short term.

As a member of the city's traffic committee, Gill said traffic problems in that area have come up regularly.

Public concerns are that the new development will add to traffic volumes, particularly in the along 24 Avenue between 160 and 152 Streets.

Gill also noted there is a lot more land in that area slated for commercial development. He said it would be prudent for all potential developers to pool their resources for sewage pumping stations and other infrastructure.

Phillip Milligan, president of the Little Campbell Watershed Society, said he's reserving judgment until that public hearing.

"We'll still have some concerns until we see the full proposal at open council," Milligan said. "We always have concerns with habitat protection and what is the city doing to protect the habitat."

Overall, he's pretty pleased with the development, but noted the devil is always in the details.

The public hearing will be held at Surrey city hall on Oct. 1 at 7 p.m.

If all things go as planned, Ivanore said the project should be complete by 2015.

@diakiw

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