Change in zoning a windfall for landowner at the expense of new jobs in Surrey
Surrey, B.C. (August 8, 2022): Surrey First Councillor Linda Annis says a proposal to change nearly 27 acres of land in South Surrey zoned for mixed employment to multiple residential would be an instant windfall for the landowner, but would “shortchange the economic and job-creating potential” of the city.
“The area in question is zoned for job-creation and mixed employment, something we need in Surrey if we’re going to move away from being just a bedroom community for other nearby municipalities,” explained Annis. “The change would allow for some 500 townhomes, a huge windfall for the landowner, but for the community it means land that is currently zoned for new jobs and the higher revenues that come with commercial land, will be lost. Surrey needs to create jobs here at home so our residents can work closer to home, rather than spending twice as much time in their cars as Vancouverites, something that happens right now.”
Annis said that city council is also in the dying days of its mandate as voters get ready to head to the polls on October 15, and last-minute major rezoning applications like this need to be scrutinized.
“At the last minute, the mayor has added this 1:00 PM meeting to today’s council schedule,” noted Annis. “Anytime that kind of change happens it raises red flags for me and begs questions about why someone is trying to rush an application through, particularly when this land has been controversial in the past when it was proposed for a casino. With only weeks to go before council wraps up, and a new council is elected, any application that looks like it is being fast-tracked comes with all sorts of questions from my perspective.”