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Municipal News- Surrey

January 1, 2000

January 25, 2022

2022 Development Cost Charges Update 

The City of Surrey is currently in the process of updating its Development Cost Charges (DCC) Bylaw. The presentation slides with proposed rates shared with UDI at a session held on January 11th can be found here for more information. Please note the information is updated from the previous presentation material circulated in advance of the meeting. The slides now include both the city-wide and area specific rates being proposed, with notable changes in City Centre. Staff are aiming to have the full report go to Council with the 2022 10 Year Servicing Plan and DCC Bylaw on January 31st. The goal is to have the new rates come into effect on May 15th. 

If you have any questions or comments, please contact Heather Park at hpark@udi.org


January 11, 2022

2022 Development Cost Charges Update 

The City is conducting a refresh of its development cost charges (DCCs) for 2022. Public engagement is underway, including a virtual UDI session with City staff on January 11th from 2pm-3pm. The proposed rates, in addition to examples of 2022-2031 10 Year Servicing Plan projects to be funded by DCCs, can be found here

If you have any questions, or are interested in attending the UDI engagement session, please email Heather Park at hpark@udi.org.  


Capital Budget 2022 

On December 22nd, 2021 a Special Regular Council meeting was held, where Council passed third reading of Budget 2022. This includes a five-year financial plan through to 2026. For the fourth year in a row, the property tax increase was limited to 2.9%, which is one of the lowest among Metro Vancouver municipalities. There are also fee increases to generate new revenues through the property tax revenue from the 2.9% anticipated tax rate, property tax revenue due to anticipated growth, and other taxation revenue due to anticipated growth. 

Another item of note is the Planning & Development Department includes new funding for four new regular fulltime staff positions to support the implementation and adoption of the City’s Permitting Timelines Guarantees Framework


December 14, 2021

Climate Change Action Strategy 

On November 25th, the City held a developer workshop on Healthy Zero-Carbon Buildings as part of the ongoing work on its Climate Change Action Strategy (CCAS). The purpose of the workshop was to update participants on CleanBC/Provicinal requirements and targets, inform participants about the City’s CCAS with a focus on the healthy zero-carbon buildings component of the strategy (primarily in new construction), and seek feedback on draft shifts, targets, and actions for buildings. 

The seven “shifts” by the City include: 

  1. Updating City policies and bylaws, supported by senior government regulations, to rapidly phase out carbon pollution, and improve energy efficiency & climate resilience in new buildings (target: zero-carbon operational new buildings by 2025); 
  2. Aligning City zoning, policies, processes and permitting to enable rapid deployment of RZCBs, and provide clear timelines for industry to prepare;
  3. Collaborating and coordinating to support growth of the green building industry & adoption of key technologies, designs & practices for the RZCB transition;
  4. Collaborating and coordinating to increase support for new resilient zero-carbon buildings by decision makers and public;
  5. Supporting broad scale electrification and zero-carbon energy networks; 
  6. Prioritizing growth in areas that already have roads and services in place over greenfield; 
  7. Improving climate and ecological resilience in new and existing neighbourhoods through multi-use green spaces and “people-first” streets and public realm. 

For more information, please see the presentation slides from the workshop, as well as the Community Engagement Summary Report here. Feedback received through engagement indicates a high level of public concern for climate change, and strong support for the directions outlined in the CCAS framework.  Based on the community feedback received to date, the CCAS will prioritize the following shifts: 

  • Align land use planning policies & regulations with climate goals; 
  • Align transportation planning with climate goals to enable mode shift to walk/roll/cycle and transit; 
  • Manage ecosystems for carbon sequestration and climate resilience; 
  • Accelerate the transition to zero-carbon resilient new and existing buildings; 
  • Support community empowerment, including improving equity and relations with First Nations. 

The final CCAS will likely be advanced for Surrey City Council approval in early 2022. 


November 30, 2021

Housing Needs Report 

On November 22, Surrey City Council approved the City’s Housing Needs Report. The report notes that Surrey has consistently been providing 3000- 4000 news housing units per year over the past decade, however there is a need to focus more on increasing density and purpose-built rental in the future. Housing projections estimated that 10,700 additional rental units are needed between 2021 and 2026, and an additional 11,900 units between 2026 and 2031. The report also recommends that the City explore the creation of new incentives for purpose-built rental particularly in areas well-served by transit. 

Below are the tables outlining the City’s housing need projections for rental and owned housing: 


November 2, 2021

Land Development Approval Process Improvements  

At Surrey’s Regular Council Public Hearing on October 18, a Report on the Land Development Approval Process Improvements and Review of Housing Supply for Affordability was approved. The Report proposes an approach of guaranteeing permitting timelines and the development process improvements to support the proposed timelines. Outlined below are the proposed processing targets.  

In order to achieve the proposed timeline targets, there are application requirements outlined in the report. For example, for applications that require Form & Character Development Permit (such as multi-family, commercial, industrial projects) that are in compliance with the OCP and/ or applicable. For more information see the report.  

Also noted in the report are a number of ongoing and planned process improvement initiatives that the City will be carrying out, such as digitizing the online permitting process, as well as, implementing a Call Centre to complement the existing Building Front Counter team and triage up to 400 calls per day.  

Please contact Richard Demkiw with any questions or comments. 


October 19, 2021

UDI Letter – Surrey City Centre, Central Business District and Office Policy  

On September 28 and October 1 UDI participated in Policy Workshops updates to the Surrey City Centre Central Business District and Office Policy. As noted in previous newsletters, the discussion focused on the land-use plan for the 3 sub areas of the CBD and outside the CBD, FAR designations, proposed CAC requirements.  

In response to the proposals discussed recent engagements UDI submitted a letter of response to the City of Surrey on October 15. The letter highlights that we generally are supportive of the City’s objectives and efforts to attract office space and tenants, however, we have concerns regarding the amount of supply that the policies propose. Furthermore UDI requests that the City consider the following: 

  • Adding a larger residential component to the CBD to improve financial viability of projects and also improve vibrancy, economic resiliency, safety, and livability of the area. 
  • Considers other incentives, like CAC reductions, property tax “holidays,” pre-zoning sites, reductions to parking standards. 
  • Provide grandfathering and in-stream protection, especially for applicants outside of the CBD. 
  • Provide clarity on the proposed Community Amenity Contributions for mixed-use projects. 
  • Host additional consultations with UDI to discuss other built form requirements such as density, road design, block sizes.  

The letter can be found here.  

See here for the staff presentation

Please contact Richard Demkiw with any questions or comments. 


October 5, 2021

Fleetwood Draft Plan Update   

On Monday September 27 Surrey hosted a consultation session with UDI and provided membership with an overview of the Fleetwood Draft Plan. The discussion addressed the transportation concept, land use concept designations (including proposed density & heights).  

A list of new next steps can be found on p.30 of the staff presentation and include, updating interim density bonus and CAC rates, a zero carbon incentive policy, development policies. 

In addition to the Fleetwood Draft Plan, a presentation was provided on the Fleetwood-Zero Carbon Incentive.  

The Fleetwood Draft report is expected to be presented to City Council in early fall (November 2021) 

For more information on the Fleetwood Plan you please visit the:  
Fleetwood Engagement Webpage: https://fleetwoodplan.surrey.ca  

Draft Fleetwood Plan Summary https://fleetwoodplan.surrey.ca/16619/widgets/65367/documents/63604 

Fleetwood Plan Online Mapping Tool: 

Please contact Richard Demkiw with any questions or comments. 


City Centre Office Policy 

On Wednesday September 29, Surrey hosted a consultation session with UDI and provided membership with an overview of the City Centre Central Business District (CBD) and Office Policy. The discussion focused on the land use plan for the 3 sub-areas of the CBD and outside the CBD (on the peripheral). Outlined in the presentation are the FAR designations for each sub-area, a brief overview of potential CAC requirements, and Commercial Market Study prepared by Coriolis consulting (see here).  

For more information see the presentation here.  

Please contact Richard Demkiw with any questions or comments. 


Zero Carbon Incentive Update – Darts Hill/ Semiahmoo  

Surrey are including a zero-carbon density incentive in the Semiahmoo Town Centre Plan. As previously indicated, staff’s intention is to incorporate this sort of incentive in secondary land use plans wherever appropriate and explore whether and how a citywide incentive could work in the future. 

This will not affect any of the envisioned plan densities previously communicated. Any density bonus will be in additional to what has been presented. Surrey staff are only looking to apply the incentive to zoning/building types where they feel additional density is reasonable given the context. 

The technical requirements will be the same as adopted in the Darts Hill NCP. To confirm, the incentive does not require any on-site renewable energy generation nor the purchase of renewable energy certificates, offsets, etc. See here for an updated backgrounder document with more information and also updated some of the incentive language originally used in Darts Hill to make it clearer. 

Surrey have added language regarding how the City may update the technical requirements in the future. The intention of the incentive is to help accelerate the shift to zero-carbon buildings in advance of such performance potentially being codified or otherwise required in the future. Thus, the City will need to update the incentive if the technical requirements become similar or equivalent to a base requirement.  

Surrey is also assessing whether and how the incentive could also be included in the Guildford and Fleetwood plans currently under development. As with Semiahmoo, this would not affect any of the previously communicated densities and the technical requirements would be the same. 

This action is part of the City’s efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from buildings. While shifting to zero-carbon new construction is clearly essential to 2050 GHG targets, it also impacts the work needed on existing buildings. For every new GHG-dependent building, there must be an additional existing building retrofit before 2030 to hit the Province’s Buildings and Communities GHG target of 59-64% below 2010 levels. Of course, the building itself must also be decarbonized in the future. 

Please contact Richard Demkiw if you have any questions or comments about the incentive. 


September 21, 2021

Zoning-Bylaw Update for Major Projects 

At The City of Surrey Regular Council Meeting of September 13 A report (see here) which provides an update on the Zoning Bylaw-for Major Projects Phase-1 was received by Council for information. The report is divided into two phases, the intent of this first report is to provide an overview of the proposed administrative and housekeeping amendments to the Zoning By-law in the first phase.  

Overall, the project objectives are to:  

  • Optimize functionality between all three Zoning By-law components; 
  • Remove redundancies and inefficiencies; 
  • Increase accuracy of the information; 
  • Update existing base zones, where appropriate; 
  • Introduce new base zones to increase responsiveness to industry needs; and 
  • Improve the overall user experience. 

The subsequent phase 2 of the report will be initiated after approval of phase one. The intent of the second report is to provide more substantive changes to the Zoning-Bylaw with introduction of new base zones, and further improve efficiencies be more responsive to development and the construction industry needs.  
Please contact Richard Demkiw with any questions or comments. 


City Centre Engagement 

As discussed in previous UDI newsletters, the City of Surrey is updating the City Centre Plan, which includes a new Central Business District (CBD) to support office and employment growth. This will support Surrey’s vision for office and employment in City Centre and provide more clarity on the City’s expectations. This will include establishing new office space requirements for new developments.  

To this end, the City is now conducting stakeholder engagement, targeting commercial developers active (or having an interest) in Surrey 

The two dates (covering identical content) are as follows: 

  • September 28, 2021, 1 PM – 3 PM 
  • October 1, 2021, 10 AM – 12 PM 

Please contact Richard Demkiw if you would like to participate in the upcoming engagement opportunity.  


Fleetwood Engagement  

As mentioned in previous newsletters. The City of has launched a new phase of public consultation for the Fleetwood Plan, envisioning the future of Fleetwood supported by SkyTrain. Key features of the plan include:  

  • Focused growth in the heart of Fleetwood Town Centre and around future SkyTrain stations. 
  • New jobs, including an employment district around the 166 Street Station.  
  • Doubling the amount of existing parkland by creating 12 new parks and expanding nine existing parks, including a new athletic park.  
  • Improved community connections, making it easier to get around by adding new cycle tracks, local roads, paths and walkways.  

Surrey plans to host an engagement session on Monday, September 27, from 9:30-11:00AM with builders active in Fleetwood. Input from this round of engagement will be used to refine the plan for Council consideration later this year (targeting early Fall).   

Please contact Richard Demkiw if you would like to participate in the upcoming engagement opportunity.  


September 7, 2021

Fleetwood Plan 

As noted in previous newsletters, the City of Surrey of has launched a new phase of public consultation for the Fleetwood Planenvisioning the future of Fleetwood supported by SkyTrain. 

Further to the consultation plan noted previously, there will also be an online engagement opportunity for a small focus group of UDI members that are active in Fleetwood, to meet with the City of Surrey on September 27 to discuss this update in further detail.  

Please contact Richard Demkiw if you would like participate in this upcoming engagement opportunity.  

Central Business District Policy Engagement  

The City of Surrey is updating the City Centre Plan, which includes creating a new Central Business District (CBD) to support office and employment growth. The intent of this work is to accelerate the growth of employment-generating uses, particularly office, in order to establish City Centre as the region’s second downtown, in accordance with regional plans. 

Surrey is hosting an online engagement opportunity for office and mixed-use developers active in Surrey on September 28 and 29 to discuss commercial and office-related policies that are being developed.  

At the session Surrey will also present policy proposals or options with respect to mixed-use areas within City Centre. 

Please contact Richard Demkiw if you would like to participate in this upcoming engagement opportunity.  


August 24, 2021

Fleetwood Plan SkyTrain Densification Survey

The City of Surrey of has launched a new phase of public consultation for the Fleetwood Planenvisioning the future of Fleetwood supported by SkyTrain. A new online survey offers residents, businesses and community stakeholders the opportunity to provide feedback on the plan. The survey is open until September 8, 2021.

Input from this round of engagement will be used to refine the plan for Council consideration later this year (targeting early Fall).  Key features of the plan include: 

  • Focused growth in the heart of Fleetwood Town Centre and around future SkyTrain stations.
  • New jobs, including an employment district around the 166 Street Station. 
  • Doubling the amount of existing parkland by creating 12 new parks and expanding nine existing parks, including a new athletic park. 
  • Improved community connections, making it easier to get around by adding new cycle tracks, local roads, paths and walkways. 

The draft plan’s release follows almost two years of work, engagement and the involvement of thousands of residents and stakeholders. After this round of engagement, staff will report to Council with what was heard and an updated stage one (draft) plan. From there, the planning process will shift into the second stage of work, which includes a review of utility and infrastructure, financing, urban design and other supportive policies. Additional opportunities for community engagement will be offered moving forward. A final plan is expected to be ready for public review in early 2023. 

See Fleetwood Plan media Release.

Review the plan in detail using the interactive mapping tool and by reading the Fleetwood Plan – Draft Plan Summary.

See more details and take the new online survey at fleetwoodplan.surrey.ca.

Please contact Richard Demkiw with any questions or comments.


July 27, 2021

Semiahmoo Town Centre Plan – Public Survey

In March of 2020 Council endorsed Corporate Report R049, which approved the Stage 1 of the Semiahmoo town Centre Plan, including the Land UseTransportation and Parks & Amenities concepts. Council also directed staff to continue working on the Stage 2 (final) Plan.

The City are now in the final stages of preparing the Stage 2 Plan for Council consideration this fall and have an online survey for stakeholders to provide feedback on the plan before it goes to Council.

For more information, please visit the direct link to the project website: Semiahmoo Town Centre Plan.


Surrey Transportation Plan – Public Survey

Surrey created a draft vision and identified four Bold Moves to help prioritize key transportation investments over the next 10 years. The third phase of public engagement for Surrey’s New Transportation Plan is now open.

To provide input please visit the direct link to the project website www.surrey.ca/transportationplan and take the Surrey Transportation Plan online survey.


Revised Stage 1 South Campbell Heights Land Use Plan and Proposed Official Community Plan, Regional Context Statement, and Regional Growth Strategy Amendments

At the City of Surrey’s Regular Council (Public Hearing) meeting of July 12 a corporate report on the Revised Stage 1 South Campbell Heights Land Use Plan and Proposed Official Community Plan, Regional Context Statement, and Regional Growth Strategy Amendments was received for information and endorsed by Council.

The Plan focuses on creating more employment land. The Business Employment designation were expanded in the proposed revised plan which now includes 139 hectares of mixed employment land. Other land use designations such as the Special Commercial, Institutional, and Special Residential designations have been removed from the Plan.

The revised plan also reduces the proposed UCB expansion by approximately 13.1 hectares (32.5acres) in the south west of the Plan Area, which will remain rural.

The City Clerk’s office will now set a Public Hearing date. If the report is approved at the Public Hearing, it will be forwarded to Metro Vancouver Board for consideration.

Please contact Richard Demkiw with any questions about the report.


July 13, 2021

Newton–King George Boulevard Stage 1 Land Use Plan

At the Regular Council Public Hearing Meeting of June 28, a report on Stage 1 of the Newton-King George Boulevard Plan was received for information. The report includes the discussion land use and transportation, and parks and open space concepts. It also includes a recommendation for staff to receive and process development within the Newton-King George Boulevard Area Plan. However, applications that move forward will not receive final approval until Stage 2 of the plan is adopted by Council.

Please contact Richard Demkiw with any questions or comments.


June 29, 2021

Request for Comments to Surrey’s Annual District Energy Rate Review Panel

The City of Surrey is seeking input from Surrey City Centre developers regarding the rates and rate structure for Surrey City Energy, the city-owned district energy utility.  Interested stakeholders are invited to submit questions and/or concerns for consideration by Surrey’s Expert External Rate Review Panel by July 20, 2021. Please submit responses directly to Emily.kwok@surrey.ca.


Healthy Zero-Carbon Buildings Initiative and Climate Action Framework Survey

The City of Surrey has established a 2050 goal that “All buildings are healthy, energy efficient, and don’t emit carbon pollution. Buildings are also comfortable year-round and help to protect us from the impacts of climate change.” Surrey is also establishing interim targets, and is considering the following:

  • All new buildings emit zero operating greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2025; and
  • All new Part 3 building use 40% less embodied carbon and are climate resilient by 2030.

Surrey is also reviewing several key strategies, including:

  • Mandating as soon as possible that new buildings use low carbon renewable energy;
  • Developing a building retrofit strategy to increase energy efficiency and reduce carbon emissions in existing buildings; and
  • Developing policies to require Part 3 builders track and then reduce embodied carbon in new construction.

Some of the measures noted above are discussed in the Climate Action Framework Survey that the City is requesting stakeholders and the public complete by June 30.

The City has also released a number Climate Action Framework Fact Sheets:

The City in partnership with Richmond and New Westminster also delivered and recorded a Virtual Builder Breakfast Mechanical System Design and Installation webinar which included a summary of best practices for Part 9 construction and information on heat pumps. They consider heat pumps to be “… an essential technology for reducing carbon pollution from and adding space cooling to buildings.”

For further information, please contact the City at sustainability@surrey.ca, or UDI through Richard Demkiw.


Draft Vision for New Transportation Plan

The City of Surrey launched its third phase of pubic engagement for the new transportation plan, which outlines the long-range vision, decision making framework, and priorities for the next 10 years.

Between June 15 and July 3 the City of Surrey is asking for feedback (see the survey here) on a draft vision statement, and the proposed 10 key themes that emerged from fall 2020 public consultation.


Surrey Biodiversity Design Guidelines

The City of Surrey recently development new Biodiversity Design Guidelines as a complementary tool to support the implementation of the Biodiversity Conservation Strategy. The guidelines will inform land use planning and development across the City and are intended to be primarily implemented at the site level. The guidelines are organized into eight modules that outline guidance and best management practices for biodiversity conservation. The Design Guidelines and principles integrate key considerations, including climate change, ecosystem benefits (i.e., the value of natural assets), and linkages to City and Regional policies.


May 18, 2021

Proposed OCP Urban Design Amendments

As noted in previous newsletters, Surrey is proposing several minor amendments to its Official Community Plan (OCP) to address urban design issues. They were discussed and supported by the Development Advisory Committee (DAC) on May 4. The proposed changes will now go to Council for approval. The amendments include:

  • Increasing the allowable density for the Urban Designation of townhouses city-wide from fifteen units per acre to twenty;
  • Increasing the allowable density for the Commercial Designation along the Frequent Transit Network and in Secondary Plan Areas to up to 2.0 FAR;
  • Allowing residential supportive uses for ground floor units in mixed unit buildings when those units “… are away from a main street frontage and are adjacent to residential uses;”
  • Increasing the floor plates for taller towers;
  • Changing the separation distances between mid-rise buildings to “20 m from building corner to building corner and 30 m from building face-to-building face;” and
  • Changing the separation distances between low-rise buildings to –
    • 6 m between a building side and another building side;
    • 12 m between a building side and building front;
    • 20 m between a building front and another building front when one of the buildings is 50 m wide; and
    • 24 m between a building front and another building front when one of the buildings is more than 50 m wide.”


Development in the City Centre and Along the Fraser Highway

At the May 4 DAC, staff also provided a presentation on Six-Storey Development in the City Centre and along the Fraser Highway Corridor. Staff noted that the City Centre Area Plan is being updated due to the new SkyTrain station at 140 Avenue and the Fraser Highway. Densities near the stations will increase. However, as part of the update, the City would like to use six-storey construction at 2.5 FAR to “… provide a transition between the proposed mid-rise areas and single family along outer boundary of the plan.” For the same reason, the City would like to include this form of development in the Fleetwood Town Centre Transition Areas. Staff also noted that this type of construction works well for constrained sites and is more affordable as well as sustainable.


Tandem Parking Update

At the DAC meeting, staff also provided a presentation on tandem parking. The policy has not been reviewed since the last update in 2015 when a 50% cap was placed on townhouse projects. Staff hope to review the policy again next year – especially near transit where less parking is needed and there is the potential to introduce on-street parking regulations. Members of the DAC encouraged staff to conduct the review as soon as possible and include the issue of back-to-back townhouses as part of the work, as the City is considering limiting the number of these types of units in projects. 


Darts Hill Neighbourhood Concept Plan

At the City of Surrey’s Regular Council (Public Hearing) meeting of May 10, Council carried a motion to proceed with the Stage 2 Final Report for the Dart Hills Neighbourhood Concept Plan. The report covers a wide range of topics r elated to the Darts Hill Neighbourhood, including:

The plan includes discussion of

  • Vision and Planning Principles
  • Land Use Designations
  • Design Guidelines
  • Housing Policies

There is also an updated Zero Carbon Incentive program to encourage the construction of zero carbon operation buildings.

Please contact Richard Demkiw with any questions or comments about the report.


Climate Action Strategy Update on Progress and Draft Framework for Community Engagement

At the City of Surrey Regular Public Hearing of May 10 a report on ‘Climate Change Action Strategy – Update on Progress and Draft Framework for Community Engagement’ went to Council. On p.7 of the draft report outlines the initial vision and strategies for achieving Zero-Carbon Buildings.


Surrey Engagement Opportunities

The City of Surrey is seeking feedback on the Fleetwood Draft Plan, The Newton-King George Boulevard land-use strategy, and 84 avenues from 120 Street to Fraser Highway (see below for more information on the engagement opportunities).

  1. Fleetwood Draft Plan

Over the last year and a half, Surrey collected information from residents, community stakeholders and businesses to draft a plan for Fleetwood showing where people, paths, parks, roads and buildings will go. Please take the survey to provide feedback on the draft plan.

  1. Newton-King George Boulevard Survey

Surrey continues to develop a land-use plan for the Newton-King George Boulevard Area. The new plan will guide growth and support future rapid transit along King George Boulevard. Review the Growth Concept and Proposed Land Use Strategy. To provide your feedback on this please take the online survey.

  1. A New, Direct, East-West Route Along 84 Avenue

The City plans to complete road connections on 84 Avenue from 120 Street to Fraser Highway to increase road safety, connectivity and travel options. Construction will be done in phases over the next five years.

Public engagement for Phase 1: King George Boulevard to 140 Street has started. After reading the engagement boards, take the online survey for a chance to win a $250 gift card to Guildford Town Centre.

The public can provide input on parking options, walking and cycling paths, median designs, street lighting, park amenities and environmental considerations.


April 20, 2021

Environmental Review Process Update

At the April 6 Development Advisory Committee meeting, staff outlined the new process for environmental reviews intended to reduce delays. The City would like Qualified Environmental Professionals (QEPs) to work directly with senior government agencies to obtain all required environmental approvals. Surrey “Staff will concentrate on preparing a terms of reference, guidelines, checklists, and standards which QEPs may choose to utilize when preparing reports that are to be submitted to the Province …”. The process will be as follows:

  • There will be a pre-application meeting with City staff;
  • QEPs will directly submit Water Sustainability Act or Riparian Areas Protection Regulation (RAPR) reports to the Ministry Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development;
  • The Ministry “… has indicated an approximate 3-4 week turnaround time for stream/wetland confirmations and RAPR setback determinations;” and
  • The City will be requiring a Peer review at the application stage to ensure City requirements have been followed.

Please see the following reference documents:


April 6, 2021

Urban Heat Ready Survey

Share your thoughts on building an Urban Heat Ready Surrey.

Climate change projections suggest that Surrey will experience hotter and drier summers in the years to come. Dense urban hubs like City Centre are already hotter than other parts of Surrey due to the urban heat island (UHI) effect.

As City Centre undergoes rapid transformation into a walkable, transit-oriented downtown south of the Fraser, Surrey is inviting building development and operation professionals from across Metro Vancouver to share their perspectives and ideas on UHI mitigation and adaptation tools for Part 3 buildings.

Participate in this 10 minute survey and help Surrey gauge opportunities and best practices in UHI mitigation and adaptation in the industry. Your insight is highly valued in building a climate and future ready City Centre in Surrey. 

Click Here for Survey

This survey is part of the City’s Urban Heat Ready Project, a two-year project that brings together residents, community partners, building development professionals and City staff to collaborate and co-create solutions to minimize urban heat impacts in City Centre.

The survey will be open until April 16, 2021.


March 23, 2021

Transportation Plan: Phase 2 Understanding Community Values

At the City of Surrey Regular Council Meeting of March 8 a report on the Surrey Transportation Plan: Phase 2 “Understanding Community Values,” was received by Council for information. The objective of this report is to involve residents, businesses, and stakeholders for:

  • Identifying transportation realities including what is working well today and what could be improved at a community level;
  • Mapping community’s values and key interests to inform the development of the new STP.

Four key themes emerged from the survey’s findings (see below). The themes will be the foundation of the draft key principles and long-range vision of the STP developed in Phase 3 over the next two months. 

  • Safety motivates transportation choices;
  • There is a strong desire to walk, cycle, and take transit more;
  • Local connected transportation networks are needed;
  • Land use shapes transportation outcomes.

The full findings including all ten themes can be found online in the Surrey Transportation Plan Phase 2: Engagement Summary

The next report to Council will launch Phase 3 public engagement “Feedback on Draft Elements” in late Spring of 2021. It is expected that a new Surrey Transportation Plan will be brought forward for approval by Council by the end of 2021.


March 9, 2021

EV Strategy Update

On February 22, 2021 Surrey City Council received a report on the Electric Vehicle Strategy for informational purposes.

The report notes that the City aims to support access to home and workplace charging by implementing charging requirements for new developments and supporting the retrofit of existing buildings for EV charging. Some of the key priority actions include:

  1. Update and expand non-residential EV charging infrastructure requirements;
  2. Streamline permits and inspections for EV charging installations; and
  3. Support home and workplace EV charging retrofits


Proposed Official Community Plan – 2021 Minor Amendments to be received by Council for Informational Purposes

On the agenda for Surrey’s Regular Council meeting of March 4 is a Report on the Surrey Official Community Plan – 2021 Minor Amendments . The report is to be be received by Council for informational purposes, and proposes updates to the density threshold for Urban Designation for townhouse sits, density threshold for Commercial designation adjacent to Frequent Transit Networks (FTN), Commercial Designation with Residential Interfaces, and Refinements to Form and Character Development Permit Guidelines.

The report highlights that the City aims to reduce the number of OCP amendments for Townhomes. Subject to neighbourhood compatibility it is proposed that the Urban Designation density be amended to allow for an increase from 37 to 49 units per hectare (20 units per acre) in exchange for the provision of sufficient community amenities.

For Commercial Designation Adjacent to FTN it is proposed that the Commercial Designation be amended for sites abutting the FTN, and for those sites identified in Secondary Plan Areas, to provide allowances for densities of up to 2.0 FAR.

For commercial designation with residential interfaces, there are proposed changes for ground floor units that are away from a main street frontage and are adjacent to residential uses to be permitted to allow residential supportive uses (such as indoor amenity spaces or parking) along the building side with the residential interface.

There are also several notable proposed refinements to form and character development permit guidelines. For high-rise buildings, to increase high-rise floor plate maximum sizes for buildings 31 storeys and taller.

Also proposed for low and medium-rise multifamily buildings are new minimum building separation guidelines.  


Terms of Reference – Breeding Bird Surveys for 2021 

The City of Surrey updated it’s Breeding Bird Survey Terms of Reference (ToR). One of the key takeaways from the updated ToR is that Breeding bird surveys will now need to be considered every year between March 1st and August 31st.  Surrey staff have also noted that there were several other changes that were made to the updated ToR that should be reviewed carefully.

If you have any questions or comments please contact Richard Demkiw rdemkiw@udi.org


Servicing Plan and 2021 Development Cost Charge Bylaw  

On February 22 Surrey Regular Council Public Hearing a report on the 10-Year (2021-2030) Servicing Plan and 2021Development Cost Charge Bylaw was endorsed by Council. The report will now be submitted to the Provincial Inspector of Municipalities for approval prior to final adoption by Council.

As noted in the UDI Newsletter on Jan 12, there will be increases for both city-wide and area specific DCC rates. The increases are attributed to arterial road construction, parkland acquisition and the remaining Green Infrastructure Network (GIN) lands as part of the City’s Biodiversity Conservation Strategy (BCS).

The BCS DCC will be added to the City-wide Parkland Acquisition DCC and phased in over a period of 5 years, beginning in 2021.

The City-wide DCC rate increase representing a 2.3% average increase for single-family houses (infrastructure + land cost increases) plus 1.9% for BCS.  For multi-family residential units, the average increase equates to 3.5% (infrastructure + land costs) and 3.7% for BCS.

For more information on the rate changes see the report linked above.

Please contact Richard Demkiw with any questions or comments.


Development Advisory Committee (Processing Improvements/Area Plans)

On March 2, the inaugural meeting of the City of Surrey’s new Development Advisory Committee (DAC) was held virtually. The Committee is made up of three City Councillors – Councillor Mandeep Nagra (Chair), Councillor Allison Patton (Vice Chair), and Councillor Laurie Guerra. There are also three industry representatives and two observers – one from UDI and one from HAVAN. The Committee meets monthly to discuss planning and development related issues.

At the March 2 DAC meeting, there were two presentations on processing improvements at the City and an overview presentation of the area planning occurring in Surrey. Please see the attached slides.

Processing Improvements

The first presentation was on Land Development Business Process Modernization at the City.  For over a decade, Surrey has been digitizing its inspection and permitting processes. It began with online electrical permits in 2008. In 2010, real-time electronic inspections replaced a paper-based process and the City launched an online development inquiry system. Since then, they have added online permitting for plumbing and single-family homes as well as beginning to conduct digital plan reviews and online inspection scheduling. These initiatives have led to more flexibility and processing improvements for proponents. It has also provided tremendous data to staff, so they can continuously improve these systems and processes. Future changes include:

  • A portal technology upgrade;
  • A Plumbing and Electrical Portal revamp;
  • Inspection requests enhancements;
  • Improved communication with applicants regarding deficiencies;
  • Permit status tracking;
  • A Sign Permits online application;
  • Enhanced digital document submissions;
  • A Backflow Preventers online permit;
  • Revision Permit;
  • ODI Upgrade;
  • Full Application Intake for infill, multi-family and commercial;
  • Service Requests Online submissions;
  • Streamlining the payments and refunding processes; and
  • Continuing upgrades to the tenant improvement process.

The second presentation was on Electrical Contractor Performance Monitoring (ECPM), which is a “Data-driven initiative to lower the rate of inspections for high-performing contractors,” for low risk electrical work. The program was piloted last year and fully launched in January. High performing contractors do not receive inspections for low risk work. Instead, the City has implemented a performance-based auditing approach that has improved processing times, and encouraged better performance from contractors (see the flow chart below). The City is now considering expanding the program to plumbing.

The final presentation was on the significant number of area plans being conducted in the City that are noted below. 


January 26, 2021

Update to the Tier 2 Community Amenity Contributions Program

On the agenda to be received by Surrey Council at Regular Council Public Hearing meeting of January 25 is a report ‘Update to the Tier 2 Community Amenity Contributions Program’ (corporate report R015). The proposed amendments aim to adjust rates for areas outside of the town centres from the Tier 2 negotiated 75% land-lift CAC to a fixed rate Tier 2 CAC.

Phase 1 of the approach is slated to come into effect when the Bylaw is adopted and will last until December 31 2021. The rate represents a 50% increase in current CAC rates.

Phase 2 is scheduled to occur after December 2021 and will result in an additional 50% CAC increase.

Please contact Richard Demkiw by email rdemkiw@udi.org or by phone at 778-388-1639 with any questions or comments.


Development Advisory Committee (DAC) Changes

At the Surrey Council Meeting on December 7, 2020 Mayor and Council dissolved five Committees including the Surrey DAC (see the report here). The Surrey DAC was replaced with a with a new a formal standing committee of the Mayor, which will be chaired by Councillor Nagra with Councillor Patton as Vice-Chair.

Surrey staff are receiving applications for three volunteer positions that are available on the new Development Advisory Committee. The volunteers appointed to the Committee for a term of two years. If you are interested in participating as a volunteer on the new Development Advisory Committee, Please see the Recruitment Page for details.  The submission deadline is 4:30 on February 9.

See here for the DAC Terms of Reference.

UDI intends to meet with Surrey staff to discuss alternative consultation options for builders and developers. 


Tree Protection Bylaw Amendments

In the last Council Meeting of 2020, the City of Surrey approved the Surrey Tree Protection Bylaw. There were several amendments that were made to the Surrey Tree Protection Bylaw, including an increase of penalties for the illegal cutting of quality trees. The amendments to the Tree Bylaw came into effect when the bylaw was adopted on December 21. See several of the key amendments to the bylaw below:

  •  Increased penalties for Tree Bylaw offence – such as cutting, removing or damaging a protected tree;
  • Updates for how securities are collected and release, as well as updates for permit fee changes;
  • Adding a new section to the Tree Bylaw that stipulates that if replacement trees are not planted within a specified timeframe, the securities will be used by the City to plant trees elsewhere on City-owned property;
  • A new section will be added to the Tree Bylaw that allows for landscape securities to be released to a strata so that they can complete unfinished or deficient works on strata lands;
  • The cash-in-lieu collected for replacement trees in deficit be increased.


January 12, 2021

UPDATED: DCC Engagement

The City of Surrey is proposing an increase in both city-wide and area-specific DCC rates. This increase is largely attributed to arterial road construction, parkland acquisition and acquiring the remaining Green Infrastructure Network (GIN) lands as part of the City’s Biodiversity Conservation Strategy (BCS). The City is proposing two scenarios to begin phasing-in the BCS component over the next 4 or 6 years. The rates are outlined on slides 18-19 of the staff presentation linked below. 

Following Surrey’s standard DCC process, any new rates are planned to come into effect by mid-May, 2021.

To provide feedback on the proposed DCC increases, please visit online engagement boards

For more information you can also visit the staff presentation from the DAC meeting in November. 

If you have comments/concerns please send them directly to Samantha Ward (sward@surrey.ca) at the City of Surrey, by January 17, 2021.



Stepping Up Towards Zero Emissions Survey

The City of Surrey has declared a Climate Emergency and Council has adopted a target to reduce city-wide carbon pollution to net zero levels by 2050.

The City is considering options to update the Energy Step Code policy to make this transition. This could include using heat pumps instead of gas furnaces, as well as making buildings more efficient. 

 The City of Surrey has an online survey for feedback open until January 17. The responses will be used to help inform the policy options under consideration. 


December 15, 2020

DCC Update

At the Surrey Development Advisory Committee meeting on November 26 Surrey staff presented on a new bylaw and proposed rate DCC changes. (see the presentation here).

A range of factors influence DCC rates. The City is proposing an increase in program values to reflect 10-year Servicing Plan, the Parkland Acquisition Program, the latest construction costs, and the City’s population growth projections.

A 3% increase in both City-wide and area specific DCC rates is being proposed. The proposed rate increase enables the City to continue to acquire parkland for active and passive recreation and remaining GIN land to protect and preserve the City’s Biodiversity.

The City is proposing to two scenarios to begin phasing of the BCS component of the parkland acquisition DCC in 2021 over 4 or 6 years

DCC rates for different land use categories are established based on the projected 10-year population growth and infrastructure costs to service the growth. The rates vary across land use types (single family, multi-family residential, commercial and industrial).

The City the new bylaw and rates are slated to come into effect by mid-May.

Online public engagement for public feedback will open from January 4 to 17.


November 3, 2020

Surrey Transportation Plan 

The City of Surrey launched a survey to collect feedback from residents, business owners and community stakeholders about their current experience and future priorities related to transportation in Surrey. Data from the survey, as well as feedback collected from upcoming online open houses, stakeholder interviews, and focus groups, will guide the creation of a new transportation plan for Surrey.

The plan will be developed over the next 16 months with extensive community engagement, with an expected completion in 2021. Upon completion it will identify a long-range vision for Surrey beyond 2050 and replace Surrey’s current transportation strategic plan developed in 2008. The plan will also include a framework for prioritizing future transportation investments, developing baseline metrics to measure progress, and developing action plans that identify key objectives, projects, and initiatives for the next 10 years.

Two public online open houses are scheduled for November 12 and November 17. More information about the open houses and to take the survey can be found here


October 20, 2020

Townhomes on Parkades in Surrey City Centre

At the Surrey DAC meeting on September 24, Surrey staff responded to a concern voiced by the development community regarding the affordability implications for many townhouses above underground parking that are constructed as part of mid-rise high-rise projects in Surrey City Centre. 

At the DAC, staff highlighted that providing a range of family housing (2-3 bedroom units) in townhomes is expected as other forms such as flats and loft produce different environments. Townhomes will continue to be requested along arterials. However, exploring alternatives to townhomes at building bases will need to meet several key objectives to ensure livability (see below).

  • If 2-3 bedroom units are not accommodated at ground level (in townhouse form), they will need to be elsewhere in the building.
  • It is important to have sleeping areas above the street level.
  • Frequent doors at street level are important. As such, studios, one-bedroom units, or lofts can be provided along streets and lanes.

Staff also stated that they will be maintaining the council-adopted policies and guidelines which encourage this unit type. However, they will work with the development community to understand the particular context of each project and apply the principles of the policy as outlined in this presentation. See the presentation here.  

Please contact Richard Demkiw at rdemkiw@udi.org or 778-388-1639 with any questions or comments.


September 22, 2020

Surrey Transportation Plan

The City of Surrey’s current Transportation Plan was developed in 2008. The City of Surrey is now developing a new Transportation Plan focused on addressing the climate crisis, prioritizing safety, balancing equity and leveraging new technology. The new Surrey Transportation Plan will include a long-range vision, articulate a decision-making framework and identify transportation priorities for the next 10 years. The goal is to bring residents, stakeholders, and key partners together to understand the current transportation issues better and develop a future strategy.

The plan is being developed over the next 16 months, with completion anticipated the end of 2021. From late August 2020 to Fall 2021, city staff will be working with the community to gather ideas and seek feedback that will help shape the new transportation plan. When complete it will:

  • Identify a long-range transportation vision for the City of Surrey beyond 2050.
  • Deliver action plans with key objectives, projects, and initiatives for the next 10 years.
  • Develop a framework for how to prioritize future transportation investments.
  • Identify baseline metrics to measure progress towards the long-range vision.

The initial phases of this engagement process will be online and can be found here.

See the corporate report outlining this project that was presented to Council on February 24, 2020.


August 11, 2020

Surrey’s District Energy Rate Review Panel is looking for your feedback

The City of Surrey is seeking input from Surrey City Centre developers regarding the rates and rate structure for Surrey City Energy, the city-owned district energy utility.  Interested stakeholders are invited to submit questions and/or concerns for consideration by Surrey’s Expert External Rate Review Panel by August 31, 2020. Please submit responses directly to Emily.kwok@surrey.ca

For background info, the current rates for 2019 are in Schedule C (page 31) of the District Energy By-law.


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.”

Please see the staff Report on the Economic Action & Recovery Plan, as well as the City’s news release.


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.

UDI previously submitted a letter to the City regarding the DCC increases and received this response.


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 rdemkiw@udi.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 rdemkiw@udi.org 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 

Electric Vehicles
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

DAC Update

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

Parking Update

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.


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