Municipal News- Surrey
July 14, 2020
Density Adjustments for Sites Abutting Frequent Transit Networks
At the City of Surrey Regular Council Public Hearing meeting on June 29, staff presented a report on the ‘Density Adjustments for Sites Abutting Frequent Transit Networks.’
The report proposed amendments to the Urban and Multiple Residential Designations to provide allowances for increased density for sites abutting the Frequent Transit Network (FTN).
This would encourage added density to key corridors such as Scott Road// 120 Street sections of King George Boulevard and sections of Fraser Highway that have FTN service. Additionally, it would establish the framework for transit supportive densities along FTN corridors. See below for the proposed amendments:
Sites seeking an OCP amendment to increase their densities to the densities supported with these amendments will continue to be subject to the City’s density bonus provisions.
Council carried the motion to approve the recommendations made in a report.
See here for the full report.
Surrey EV Strategy: Phase 1 Public and Stakeholder Engagement
City staff have concluded the first phase of Public and Stakeholder engagement on the proposed Surrey Electric Vehicle Strategy development. The engagement approach was adapted due to COVID-19, and staff will be continuing with focused engagement building on the initial feedback. Summaries of the Stakeholder Focus Groups and CitySpeaks Survey are now available on the City’s EV Strategy webpage.
City staff have developed a set of draft actions based on the Phase 1 responses. If you would like to provide feedback, please complete the new their Surrey EV Strategy: Refining & Prioritizing Actions Survey.
May 19, 2020
New Economic Action & Recovery Plan Approved
On May 4, Council passed a Surrey Economic Action and Recovery Plan from the COVID-19 Pandemic “… to help Surrey’s economy move towards a faster recovery through a series of initiatives centered on encouraging and supporting residents, businesses, investments, and job creation opportunities in the City.” The Plan has several provisions for builders, including:
- “… A 90-day extension for taxpayers to pay taxes without late penalties.”
- “Streamlining the Road and Right-of-Way and Traffic Obstruction Permit processes;”
- “Expanding the use of the Surety Bond Pilot from 12 to 20;”
- “Waiving the requirements for water connection replacements for Tenant Improvement
permits and single-family home building permits;”
- “Streamlining the Tenant Improvement permitting process;”
- “Implementing fixed timelines for processing of simple permits;”
- “Expediting the review and processing of Environmental Development and Erosion
Sediment Control Permits”; and
- “… Economic incentives for large mixed-use high-density projects located in City Centre …,” such as:
- A 50% discount in Rezoning, Development Permit, Development Variance Permit, Servicing Agreement, and Building Permit application fees;
- A concierge service to develop a project timeline with key milestones, so “… the City will meet the agreed project schedule;” and
- A collaborative approach that “… will allow qualifying projects to move
quickly through the application and approvals process.”
May 19, 2020
See here for City of Surrey COVID-19 Resource Page
City of Surrey recent media releases:
May 5th Council approved COVID-19 Surrey Economic Action and Recovery Plan https://www.surrey.ca/city-government/31157.aspx
April 30th Surrey Fast-tracks Roadwork During COVID-19, Achieves Significant Gains Completion Timelines https://www.surrey.ca/city-government/31126.aspx
April 21st Surrey City Council Continues on Job Creation within Local Construction Sector https://www.surrey.ca/city-government/31070.aspx
April 16th COVID-19: City of Surrey’s 10 Point Action Plan https://www.surrey.ca/city-government/30969.aspx
April 15th City of Surrey weathering financial impact of COVID-19 https://www.surrey.ca/city-government/30968.aspx
April 21, 2020
Employment Support & Opportunities
The City of Surrey has compiled a list of companies that are still hiring amid the COVID-19 crisis. From opportunities in grocery stores, food delivery, distribution centres, and health services, explore the current employment opportunities available. If your company is also undergoing significant hiring, contact the City of Surrey to be added onto the list. See here for more information.
April 16, 2020
April 14th City of Surrey Online Videos Boost Mental and Physical Health for All Ages https://www.surrey.ca/city-government/30964.aspx
April 11th COVID-19 Emergency Response Act No.2 receives Royal Assent to help business keep Canadians in their jobs
April 9th 10-Point Action Plan to the COVID-19 Pandemic https://www.surrey.ca/city-government/30963.aspx
April 8th Surrey Programs Support Local Businesses During COVID-19 Pandemic https://www.surrey.ca/city-government/30959.aspx
April 7th Council Fueling Local Economy and Creating Jobs During Pandemic https://www.surrey.ca/city-government/30953.aspx
April 3rd Virtual Council Meetings https://www.surrey.ca/city-government/30932.aspx
Live Stream https://www.surrey.ca/city-government/6993.aspx
April 2nd Surrey Launches Public Campaign to Encourage Physical Distancing Commitment https://www.surrey.ca/city-government/30932.aspx
April 7, 2020
Tree Protection Bylaw Update
At the most recent Development Advisory Committee meeting, Surrey staff outlined a proposed update to Tree Protection Bylaw. Since August 2019, the City of Surrey has been undertaking a process to update the Tree Protection bylaw which regulates the cutting and replacement of trees.
The proposed bylaw update includes amendments with /regards to permit fees, replacement trees, tree protection during construction, security releases, and penalty fees.
The tree protection bylaw was slated to go to Council sometime in May. However, due to current circumstances regarding COVID this timeline may change. See here for the link to the full presentation.
Riparian Areas and Density Calculations
On the February 27th Surrey DAC meeting presented on possible changes to Surrey’s Official Community Plan and Zoning Bylaw with regards to calculating density.
Currently, when calculating Floor Area Ratio, the zoning bylaw excludes undevelopable areas (defined as utility rights of way and riparian areas)
Zoning Bylaw Part 7A Streamside Protection is based on watercourse class. Anything defined as a protected area under part 7A is not to be included in density calculations. Therefore, there are different interpretations of the two sections of the bylaw.
According to the Official Community Plan, there are areas where density is calculated on gross site areas (e.g. City Centre and Secondary plans), however undeveloped areas are not included in gross density calculation. For example, if the creek is being conveyed to City it is not included in the calculation.
With regards to development Permits for sensitive ecosystems the desire is for riparian areas to be dedicated to City. The intent is that the City would be suitable stewards of riparian areas. The maximum safeguarding of riparian areas would be conveyance (dedication). Minimum safeguarding would be applying a restrictive covenant with a statutory right of way, in addition to ongoing reporting from a Qualified Environmental Professional.
The next steps involve seeking early feedback as the City examines ways to (1) ensure consistency between the Official Community Plan and Zoning Bylaw; and (2) encourage maximum safeguarding (dedication/conveyance) of riparian areas.
See here for the link to the full presentation.
April 1, 2020
See here for COVID updates from the City of Surrey
March 30th Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update from Mayor Doug McCallum https://www.surrey.ca/city-government/30920.aspx
March 30th Positive Results Seen by Surrey COVID-19 Compliance Enforcement Team https://www.surrey.ca/city-government/30923.aspx
March 25th 90-day Extension for Annual Flat Water and Sewer Payment https://www.surrey.ca/city-government/30901.aspx
March 25th Update from Mayor Doug McCallum https://www.surrey.ca/city-government/30900.aspx
March 23 Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update from Mayor Doug McCallum https://www.surrey.ca/city-government/30893.aspx
March 19th Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update from Mayor Doug McCallum: City Services and Operationshttps://www.surrey.ca/city-government/30876.aspx
March 16th Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update from Mayor Doug McCallumhttps://www.surrey.ca/city-government/30826.aspx
February 25, 2020
Public Engagement Strategy
In 2019, the City launched a Public Engagement Task Force to enhance engagement in Surrey. One of the key deliverables of the Task Force is a citywide Public Engagement Strategy. This strategy will provide a vision and framework to guide community engagement in the City.
You can provide your feedback by completing the online survey (closes February 29th, 2020)
February 11, 2020
UPDATED: DCC Rate Increases
As previously mentioned, the City of Surrey is raising their DCC rates effective May 15, 2020. The DCC Bylaw was presented to Council for its First, Second and Third Readings yesterday evening. You can view the report here.
Surrey Langley SkyTrain engagement update
On January 30, the Mayor’s Council on Regional Transportation endorsed the Surrey Langley SkyTrain Project Business Case and directed TransLink to refer it to senior government approval. Please see the Business Case Summary in the Surrey Langley SkyTrain Document Library.
This topic was also on the agenda for the Surrey Regular Council Public Hearing meeting on February 10:
- Surrey Langley SkyTrain Update (R015)
- Surrey –Langley Supportive Policies Agreement (R016)
- Servicing Plan and 2020 Development Cost Charge Bylaw (R017)
- Update on Current Land Use Plans Priorities and Development Capacity (R021)
- Fleetwood Plan Update (R023)
Please contact Richard Demkiw with any questions or comments.
December 23, 2019
UPDATED: Density Bonus and Community Amenity Contribution Policy – Effective January 1, 2020
On December 16, following a Public Hearing, Surrey City Council approved a new Density Bonus and CAC Policy. This policy includes two tiers of fees: Tier 1, a per-dwelling unit charge that will apply to projects seeking a rezoning consistent with the OCP or Secondary Plan and Tier 2, a per square-foot charge applying to projects seeking density above the allowances in the relevant Secondary Plan or OCP.
These charges will be phased-in, however there is very little in-stream protection. These new fees will be assessed on all projects that have not received Third Reading by January 1, 2020. Additionally, a sunset clause will be in-place requiring projects to receive final approval within one year. Further clarification on timelines will be provided on the City of Surrey’s website in the New Year and we will continue to update our members as new information becomes available.
If you have questions or concerns, please contact Cassandra McColman at 604-661-3032.
December 9, 2019
2020 DCC Rate Increases
The City of Surrey is planning to raise DCC rates in 2020. Single-family lots will increase by an average of 5.1%-5.6% over 2018, low-rise multi-family (4-6 storeys) will increase 3.5%-4.8% and high-rise multi-family rates will rise 4.4% – 5%. All increases will be phased-in over 5 years, and are primarily driven by a large-scale Parkland Acquisition program that aims to acquire approximately 843 acres of land over the next 50 years to complete Surrey’s Biodiversity Conservation Strategy.
The full list of increases is available here and a public open house will be held on January 8, 2020, and pending Council and Provincial approval, the rates will be effective May 15, 2020. As will all non-inflationary DCC increases, grandfathering will apply if proponents receive a building permit within one year.
UPDATED: Density Bonus and Community Amenity Contribution Policy
A Public Hearing is scheduled for Monday, December 16th on a proposed Density Bonus and CAC Policy. The policies include new City-wide CAC for capital projects and density bonus in Town Centres. Bonus density involves proposals that go beyond the permitted base density as outlined in Secondary Plans and the Official Community Plan. See here for a link to the Coriolis Report.
Surety Bond Pilot Program
On Dec 2/19 The City of Surrey Council approved item CR R227, see the link to the report here.
City staff have developed a pilot program that focuses on a nexus approach to land development which envisions:
- A partnership between the Developer’s team and City staff to expedite processing of key strategic applications/projects, e.g., developments along LRT corridors, City Centre enhancements, significant economic benefits, etc.; and
- Areas for continuous improvements, e.g., piloting the use of project schedules on several projects to establish realistic expectations of timelines, piloting the use of Surety Bonds as an alternate form of security for Servicing Agreements, etc.
The following is a summary from the report of the pros and cons to the Developer and the City using Surety Bonds:
If there are developers interested in participating in this expanded pilot program to use surety bond as an alternate form of security for Engineering Works associated with Servicing Agreements, then they should first contact a surety broker to ensure they qualify.
After the developer has been qualified, then the surety broker can email Sam Lau to discuss participation and process.
For any questions or comments please contact, SLau@surrey.ca
Sensitive Ecosystems Development Permit Areas (SEDPA)
At the Surrey Development Advisory Committee meeting on October 24th Angela Doiron presented on Sensitive Ecosystems Development Permit Areas (SEDPA). See the slides here and some of the key takeaways from the meeting below:
- Federal/Provincial Regulation: In addition to regulatory changes in the past 3 years, more amendments are expected in November.
- Riparian Area regulation: Municipalities are not permitted to go below setbacks from watercourse minimums. The Riparian Area Protection Reguation (RAPR) is expected to come into force and effect in Nov 2019. The Province of BC will now conduct audits on some RAR reports that come in.
- Riparian Area Regulation (RAR; a response to the Fisheries Act) reports are only required if setbacks are below minimums.
- The City has set out stricter setbacks than RAR for liability reasons and precaution. Because water moves, climate is rapidly changing, and changes to drainage, the City is planning ahead to protect residents.
- Environmental reports older than 2 years old will likely need to be updated given the changes to provincial regulation.
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions or comments
UPDATED: EV Strategy
On November 27, UDI participated in a City of Surrey Electric Vehicle Strategy consultation session. The City is seeking to identify critical actions for their effort to ensure that there will be 100% zero-emission vehicles on Surrey’s roads by 2040. The objectives of the EVS are:
- “Understand the barriers for EV adoption, including accessibility and equity issues;
- Speed up EV adoption for Surrey residents, businesses and fleets;
- Make home and workplace charging more accessible;
- Focus on strategic investments in public charging infrastructure;
- Recommend policy and process improvements; and
- Show how the City will lead by example.”
Please see the one-page information sheet on the City’s current electric vehicle charging requirements. It is anticipated that the commercial and other non-residential requirements will be updated after the EVS is completed next Summer.
The City is requesting that residents and businesses take a survey to help guide the Strategy. Draft options for the EVS should be ready for early next year, and the EVS should to Council for approval in July 2020.
Finally, if you would like to stay up-to-date on the development of the EV Strategy and future opportunities for participation, please sign-up for email updates here (bottom of the page). UDI will also continue to participate in the development of the Strategy, and continue to keep members updated.
Please contact email@example.com with any questions or comments
Coastal Flood Adaptation Strategy (CFAS)
Last month, the City of Surrey approved a Coastal Flood Adaptation Strategy. The Surrey Development Advisory Committee participated in the consultation process for it. The Strategy includes a number of short, medium and long-term adaptation options for the Surrey’s coastal communities. The City’s webpage for the CFAS includes an interactive map, videos and a list of Coastal Flooding Projects.
November 12, 2019
Electric Vehicle Strategy Focus Groups
The City of Surrey is developing an Electric Vehicle Strategy that will support Surrey residents and business in the transition to 100% zero-emission vehicle adoption. The Strategy will serve as a road map for the City’s role in enabling and accelerating this transition by addressing barriers to EV adoption and identifying opportunities for action.
Staff are inviting community-based organizations and interested stakeholders from industry, academia, utility companies, advocacy groups, and businesses to participate in focus groups that will help shape the Strategy. I think it is very important to have the development community at the table, and I believe the three below focus groups will be of interest to your members. The November 26 session will be particularly relevant to those involved in commercial and industrial development.
- Tues November 19 – EV Charging Infrastructure – Home, Workplace, and Public Charging (8:30 AM – 11 AM)
- Tues November 26 – Accelerating Fleet EV Adoption (8:30 AM – 11 AM)
- Wed November 27 – EV Charging Infrastructure – Home, Workplace, and Public Charging (8:30 AM – 11 AM)
Space will be limited, so for those interested in a specific session, please contact Cassandra McColman to request spaces in advance.
October 29, 2019
On September 26th Surrey City staff presented an update on the Electric Vehicle (EV) strategy. The EV Strategy will guide electric vehicle adoption in Surrey through actions including public education and awareness campaigns, programs that target adoption, policy and process improvements to support adoption, and investments in charging infrastructure.
The development of the strategy will take place between Fall 2019 and Spring 2020 involve background research, stakeholder participation initiatives and surveys. We will continue to provide updates when this report is brought to council.
Proposed Changes to Indoor Amenity Requirements
The City of Surrey Council had requested staff to explore opportunities to increase private indoor amenity space to adequately meet the needs of a growing population. See here for the presentation provided to the Surrey DAC committee.
The proposed new direction involves:
- Adjusting requirements based on development type and location within the city;
- Topping out on indoor amenities in larger development: adjust calculation requirement for high-rise towers;
- Adjusting requirements based on location to other public amenities and;
- Reducing CAC contributions based on level of amenity space provided.
The minimum indoor and outdoor amenity contribution requirements will be based on the type of development and number of units proposed. This ranges from a minimum requirement of 37 sq.m for an 11-24 unit townhouse to a minimum requirement of 372 sq. m for a 25+ storey high rise.
Requirements remain the same with no required minimum based on the number of units (1-10) which cannot be a part of a phased development. Note, the City of Surrey does not want to see this combined with tree retention areas.
Density Bonus and Community Amenity Contribution Policy
Coriolis team has been working with the City of Surrey staff to develop a draft Density Bonus and Community Amenity Contribution (CAC) policy. On September 26th the Coriolis team presented an update to the proposed policy. The proposed policies include new City-wide CAC for capital projects and density bonus in Town Centres. Bonus density involves proposals that go beyond the permitted base density as outlined in Secondary Plans and the Official Community Plan. See here for a link to the Coriolis Report. For any questions or comments, please contact Richard Demkiw.
The proposed policy highlights that:
- CAC’s will now apply to development outside plan areas, within Neighbourhood Concept areas, and within Town Centre and City Centre areas
- CAC rates will be phased over 3 years. In general, CAC rates are higher outside plan areas in comparison to planned areas
- Rezoning within for plan areas currently paying up to ~2,000/unit; the intent to keep CAC’s relatively low and consistent with what the City is currently doing in NCP areas
- In-stream applications will not be subject to the new CAC policy however a sunset cause may apply if the development is not approved within a certain time frame (TBD).
- For projects that require an OCP/plan amendment, a fixed rate will apply within Town Centres and the City Centre area. A negotiated rate will apply to project that require significant density bonusing and to areas outside plan areas and within NCP areas.
- Exemptions are being considered for office, hotel, commercial, institutional / 100% secured market rentals projects.
Surrey Tree Protection Bylaw
The City of Surrey is currently reviewing its existing Tree Protection Bylaw and would like to gather opinions from the public. Please find a link to the survey here. The survey is open until November 1.
October 15, 2019
Semiahmoo Town Centre Plan
On October 29, the City of Surrey will be hosting an Open House on the final Stage 1 draft plan of the Semiahmoo Town Centre Plan at the South Surrey Recreation and Arts Centre from 10:30am to 8:30pm.
August 19, 2019
District Energy Rate Review
The City of Surrey is currently reviewing its District Energy Rates through an annual review panel. If you have any questions or comments regarding the DE rates in Surrey please send them to Cassandra McColman by September 12, 2019.
August 6, 2019
Grandview Area 3 Stage 1 NCP moves forward
On Monday, July 22nd the City of Surrey updated the Grandview Heights Area #3 NCP corporate report and the area to be named “Darts Hill.” The report confirms that the plan will be moving to Stage 2.City staff has also approved the proposed the boundary extension of the Darts Hill NCP area plan to include properties on the East side of Highway 15. The report can be seen here.
July 8, 2019
Surrey City staff outlined the revised Newtown Town Centre Plan, which is available on the City’s website. The plan is meant to increase density around the new transit corridor through Newton and will lay out the projected growth for the area over the next three decades. This plan will go to Council for approval on October 7, 2019.
The City is also considering changes to its indoor amenity space requirements and cash-in-lieu amounts. Staff will be developing a working group with key stakeholders from the building industry to explore options regarding potential policy changes.
June 24, 2019
Density Bonus & Community Amenity Contributions (CACs)
As noted below, staff and their consultant are conducting a policy review of Surrey’s density bonus and CAC programs. Please see the presentation on the review from the May Development Advisory Committee meeting. UDI will keep members informed about the review and upcoming consultation process. Staff indicated at the May meeting that a new policy could be place as early as the summer.
Semiahmoo Town Centre Open House
On July 11 between 4:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m., the City of Surrey is hosting a Public Open House on the Semiahmoo Town Centre Plan at the South Surrey Recreation & Arts Centre (14601 20 Ave.). The City will also be conducting an online survey regarding the Plan between June 28 and July 19. If you have any questions or comments regarding the Plan, please contact Steve MacIntyre at 604-592-2640.
May 27, 2019
Density Bonus & Community Amenity Contributions (CACs)
At the May 23 Development Advisory Committee meeting, staff provided information regarding a policy review of Surrey’s density bonus and CAC programs. Coriolis Consulting is conducting the analysis, and a Report is expected to go to Council in June; after which there will be further consultation with industry. A new Policy may be in place as early as the summer.
The review will encompass fees charged in and outside of Neighbourhood Plans, and include what the City should charge in cases where OCP and Plan Amendments have to occur. Coriolis will also be making recommendations regarding when fixed charges should be used, and when negotiations should occur. In addition, there may be recommendations on what types of projects should be exempted from Density Bonuses or CACs. The Report to Council will also address grandfathering and phasing.
UDI will keep members informed about the review and upcoming consultation process.
Newton Town Centre Plan
The City of Surrey has been developing a new land use plan for the Newton Town Centre. Their proposals were reviewed further this year after the Surrey-Newton-Guildford LRT project was suspended in late 2018. Staff are holding an Open House on June 11 at the Newton Seniors Centre (13775 70 Ave) between 5:00 PM and 8:00 PM. Please see the graphic below for boundaries of the Plan (including a proposed extension). There will also be an online survey between May 27 and June 18, 2019. It is anticipated that the Plan will go to Council later this year.
April 16, 2019
Fraser Highway SkyTrain Corridor Land Use Planning Review
On April 1, 2019, Council approved a Report on the future of land use planning along the proposed Fraser Highway SkyTrain Corridor. New land use plans will be needed for the West Fleetwood Neighbourhood and East Cloverdale. In addition, updates to existing updates are required for:
- “… City Centre Plan;
- West Clayton NCP;
- East Clayton Transit-Oriented Area Plan;
- West Cloverdale North NCP; and
- Fleetwood Town Centre Plan, which has received Stage 1 approval.”
The same day, a notice of motion was put forward “That Council consider withholding Development Applications along Fraser Highway’s SkyTrain Corridor planning area for an approximate eight to ten month period until Council has had the opportunity to review and approve a new land use plan for the corridor, with student, social and below‐market affordable housing applicants being exempt.” It will be discussed at the April 15 Council meeting.
UDI will participate throughout the consultation processes on the future land use plans along the corridor, and update members regarding their progress.
January 8, 2019
Request for Feedback – New Servicing Agreement Template
The City of Surrey is looking for additional feedback on its proposed new Servicing Agreement Template. Several land development engineering consultants have already reviewed the template, and their comments have been incorporated. If you would like to submit comments please send them directly to Fay Wong at the City of Surrey by Friday, February 1, 2019.
Energy Step Code (ESC)
UDI received the following information from the City of Surrey regarding ESC alerts and resources:
Over the past several months, the City of Surrey has advanced work to implement the BC Energy Step Code and new resources for builders and their teams. We also want to give anyone who is interested the opportunity to stay up-to-date on Step Code in Surrey.
See below for information about available resources and how to receive Surrey’s Step Code alerts.
Why sign up for Surrey Step Code Alerts?
Simply: This is the easiest way for to stay up-to-date. You will receive emails when relevant information or resources become available, including any changes to municipal requirements, builder bulletins, incentives, local educational and capacity building opportunities, and more. Sign up for Surrey-specific alerts here, even if you already asked to receive updates via StepCode@Surrey.ca. Those signing up will receive links to valuable resources immediately.
What about more general Step Code alerts?
The Energy Step Code Council also has a BC Energy Step Code Stakeholder Update newsletter where you can receive updates and stories on Step Code and implementation successes.
Where do I find information on Step Code in Surrey?
Surrey’s Step Code webpage is your go-to resource for all things Step Code in Surrey. This site will be updated periodically, including when City-led capacity building opportunities are released for builders. Stay tuned for information on free mid-construction blower door tests and a builder breakfast series starting in early 2019.
What will Step Code mean for Building Permits?
Specific permitting requirements will be posted via Bulletin on the City’s Building Permit pages. The Bulletin for Part 9 Single- and Two-Family Dwellings is available on the Residential Building Permit page, and a bulletin summarizing changes for all other covered buildings will be posted on the Commercial Building Permit page in the near future. Those who sign up for Alerts will be notified whenever these resources are added or updated.
What if I still have questions?
If you have questions about Step Code in general, visit EnergyStepCode.ca or contact the Building and Safety Standards Branch. If you have questions about Step Code in Surrey, visit Surrey.ca/StepCode or contact StepCode@Surrey.ca.
November 26, 2018
Surrey staff are hoping to introduce some minor changes to parking rates for some select land uses and parking stall dimensions by the end of the year. If you have any comments or questions, please contact Ryan Gilmore from the City of Surrey at 604.591.4099 by Monday December 3, 2018.