June 15,2007

Residents out to slay monster homes

By Kevin Diakiw

Jun 15 2007

The City of Surrey has taken the unprecedented move of placing a temporary moratorium on development in a section of North Surrey, where residents want an end to monster homes.

About 200 people filed into council chambers Monday afternoon, requesting the downzoning of 127 homes near 116 Street and 96 Avenue in Royal Heights.

Itís the second such application before council.

After a divisive public hearing last year, council granted the downzoning of St. Helenís Park, a 416-home neighbourhood near 100 Avenue and 124 Street.

Like St. Helenís, Royal Heights residents are asking for a height limit of 22 feet and a square footage cap at 3,200.

Resident Keith Cochrane gave a slide presentation which showed the impact of so-called monster homes in the neighbourhood.

Cochrane said he has the support of 80 per cent of the residents in the area and asked for an immediate moratorium on construction.

Coun. Marvin Hunt proposed all new applications be held off beginning next week.

Coun. Tom Gill was the only member of council to vote against the St. Helenís rezoning.

He told The Leader recently that since the precedent has been set, he would be hard-pressed not to support the Royal Heights application.

The issue will go to public hearing in the coming weeks.

The moratorium remains in place until council makes a decision on the matter.

kdiakiw@surreyleader.com