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Langley Surrey Border and Metro Vancouver

This website has dealt with issues related to the border between Surrey and Langley, primarily development by Orion and company at the junction of 36th Avenue and 196th Street. It was thought that there may be a role for the Metro Vancouver Regional District in resolving issues of planning and land use along the Langley Surrey border. The following correspondence with Metro Vancouver suggests that Metro does not have a role. Reviewing the Metro Vancouver bylaws, specifically, Bylaw No. 1136, 2010, points to a number of areas where the GVRD, or Metro Vancouver can and should support a review of issues related to planning, the environment and the preservation of agricultural lands with a focus on the Federal Land along the Surrey Langley border. It would seem that this parcel of land has been overlooked in the maps contained in the Bylaw.

Development of the property at the junction of 196th St. and 36 Ave. is now proceeding. With few exceptions, the trees have been clear cut and the once zoned A1 agricultural land will be covered in asphalt and warehousing. Residential housing along 196 St. in Langley will soon look across the street to a view of concrete walls and the accompanying industrial activity. City of Surrey and Township of Langley, what happened with the statement from the Bylaw: "Residential uses are not intended in Mixed Employment areas"?

The reader should know that the latest correspondence is at the bottom of this blog. The oldest at the top and newest at the bottom.

Municipal Boundary Development Issue Surrey - Langley May 14, 2021


While not knowing to whom this should be addressed, perhaps you can forward to the appropriate party.

We have an issue which relates to incompatible land use between Surrey and Langley. Surrey is about to approve an industrial development immediately adjacent to the Brookswood Langley subdivision without providing a suitable buffer. Indeed, the deployment application requests that even that buffer be reduced.

Specifically, this is a Surrey development #19-0256 at the corner of 196 St and 36 Ave. When one considers the set backs along 192nd St in the Campbell Heights development, which are generous and desirable with greenways and multiuse pathways , it seems strange that no such similar consideration was applied for the Langley residential properties along 196 Street that look toward Surrey. The industrial development has been located far too close to the Langley border.

We, the affected residents of Langley on the Surrey-Langley border, would like this development sent back to the drawing board and redesigned with greater respect for the adjacent residential properties in Langley. Look to 192nd Street for appropriate setbacks.


Nigel Bell

Municipal Boundary Development Issue Surrey - Langley May 18, 2021

Mr. Bell,

Thank you for your email; it has been forwarded to me for response.

The lands you refer to located in the City of Surrey at 196 Street and 36 Avenue are designated ‘Mixed Employment’ in the regional growth strategy, and located within the Urban Containment Boundary and the Fraser Sewerage Area. While I can appreciate your concerns over nearby development in an adjacent municipality, local planning and land use decisions are the responsibility of the respective city council. While any land use or zoning changes in that area would have to be consistent with the intent of the regional growth strategy, all planning decisions pertaining to building form, heights, setbacks, landscaping, etc. are entirely within the city’s jurisdiction, not Metro Vancouver’s.

We encourage you to share your comments with the Mayor, Council and Planning Department staff of the City of Surrey.

Should you have any questions or required any additional information, please let me know.


Sean Galloway

Sean Galloway, MUDD, RPP, MCIP Director, Regional Planning and Electoral Area Services Regional Planning and Housing Services

Metro Vancouver

Surrey Development Application No. 19-0256, May 20, 2021

Good afternoon Nigel,

I was forwarded your comments that were submitted to Sean Galloway at Metro Vancouver and I thought I would just check-in to acknowledge receipt of these comments. As I am sure you are aware, this project was introduced to Council at the May 10 Regular Council – Land Use meeting and will be proceeding to a Public Hearing on Monday, May 31. I did include all previous correspondence from yourself and other residents that was received by email, letters and/or at the Public Information Meeting in the Planning Report for Council’s consideration. Should you wish to provide your comments directly to Mayor and Council you may do so at the Public Hearing by registering to speak or by submitting written correspondence. Details of how to provide those comments can be found here.

I am not sure what you are referring to when you mention 192 Street as a suitable example for buffering. 192 Street in Campbell Heights is a Major Arterial with a 6 metre landscape buffer on either side, far below the 20 metres being proposed under the subject application on 196 Street. If you have any questions about the buffer being proposed please do not hesitate to reach out.


KEVIN SHACKLES, BA, PDD (Applied Planning) | PLANNER 1 City of Surrey

Municipal Boundary Development Issue Surrey - Langley, July 31, 2021

Mr. Galloway,

Thank you for your reply. Putting aside the matter of buffer details along the Surrey Langley border, what remains is the issue of incompatible land use between these two municipalities. I would like to draw your attention to the attached GVRD Regional Growth Strategy Bylaw Number 1136, 2010. This bylaw is of particular interest to those of us in Langley who are concerned with the future development of the Campbell Heights Industrial Lands in Surrey. A review of its content has focused on the following:

The role of the GVRD or Metro Vancouver in ensuring appropriate land use,

  • Protection of productive agricultural land, and the

  • Sustainability and protection of green spaces.

Throughout the Bylaw, there is clearly a role for Metro Vancouver to address these matters. In particular, the following excerpts have been noted.

  • Building Healthy, Complete Communities. As the region’s population both ages and grows in number, providing affordable and appropriate housing for residents at various stages of their lives is an ongoing challenge. Additionally, ensuring access to the key elements of a healthy social community – shops, personal services, community activities, recreation, employment, culture, entertainment and a safe and attractive public environment – requires careful planning primarily at the local scale, but also, to some extent, regionally. Note: Under the heading, Regional Land Use Designations, Mixed Employment, Residential uses are not intended in Mixed Employment areas.

  • Protecting Agricultural Land to Support Food Production. Comprising over 50,000 hectares of the region, agricultural lands are an important asset. The heightened importance of producing fresh, regionally grown food to meet economic, environmental, health and food security objectives reinforce the need to protect the region’s rich agricultural lands. The challenge for the Regional Growth Strategy is to protect the agricultural land base and to encourage its active use for food production. Note: Agricultural areas are intended primarily for agricultural uses, facilities and supporting services with an emphasis on food production where appropriate. These areas reinforce provincial and local objectives to protect the agricultural land base of the region.

  • Protecting the Natural Environment. Many of Metro Vancouver’s natural assets are of national and international significance. Managed properly, they also provide the basics of life – breathable air, potable water and nutritious food. The challenge is to protect these assets for the benefit of current and future generations in the face of a growing population and associated urban development and impacts which can threaten their integrity and quality. Note: Conservation and Recreation areas are intended to protect significant ecological and recreation assets, including: drinking watersheds, conservation areas, wildlife management areas and ecological reserves, forests, wetlands, riparian corridors, major parks and recreation areas, ski hills and other tourist recreation areas.

Does Metro Vancouver, the GVRD, have a role to play in mediating these issues between municipalities? I think they do and suggest a review of how the Campbell Heights Industrial development will impact the residents in Langley and Surrey in these two key areas of Agriculture and the Environment. Our immediate objective is to protect the natural environment and agricultural activity of the 300 acres of Federal Land at 3884 192 Street in Surrey. Ideally, this land would be removed from the Campbell Heights plans and brought under the Agricultural Land Reserve. Refer to our website, Sincerely, Nigel Bell

Municipal Boundary Development Issue Surrey - Langley, August 12, 2021

Mr. Bell,

Thank you for your response and I apologise for the delay in getting back to you as I was away on vacation. I appreciate your thoughts and the thorough review of the Regional Growth Strategy (RGS). As is the process for applications such as these, the municipal government must undertake their local processes, and if applicable, a public hearing prior to requesting an amendment(s) to the Regional Growth Strategy. Presently, a request to amend the RGS has been lodged and Metro Vancouver will undertake a review of the application using all of the policies of RGS as a guide; the RGS is the Region’s agreed upon vision for Metro Vancouver. This application to amend the Strategy will require a Metro Vancouver Board decision.

I trust this helps. Please let me know if you need anything further.



Municipal Boundary Development Issue Surrey - Langley, August 16, 2021

Thank you Mr Galloway!

We are buoyed by this response from Metro Vancouver and that they will undertake a review based on RGS policies.

Please keep us abreast of progress as deliberations proceed.



Municipal Boundary Development Issue Surrey - Langley, December 16, 2021

Hello Sean,

Further to our last email, work has begun to remove trees on the property located adjacent to Langley at the corner of 196th avenue and 36th Ave in Surrey.

In your previous correspondence you advised that a request to amend the RGS has been lodged and Metro Vancouver will undertake a review of the application using all of the policies of RGS as a guide; the RGS being the Region’s agreed upon vision for Metro Vancouver.

Can you advise of the status of this review and confirm that the current development activity is not premature?

Sincerely, and best wishes of the season,

Nigel Bell

Jan 11, 2022 Some Editorial Comments in Response to Residents Concern

It would seem that a mistake has been made in permitting the development of this property at the corner of 196 St and 36th Ave., and for all of development along196 Street facing Langley. Attached is a copy of BYLAW NO. 1136, 2010, which is a Bylaw to Adopt a Regional Growth Strategy for the Greater Vancouver Regional District. It has been endorsed by all municipalities. The following excerpt is from Page 9 of this document.

"Mixed Employment

Mixed Employment areas are intended for industrial, commercial and other employment related uses to help meet the needs of the regional economy. They are intended to continue to support industrial activities, and complement and support the planned function of Urban Centres and Frequent Transit Development Areas. Mixed Employment areas located within Urban Centres and Frequent Transit Development Areas provide locations for a range of employment activities and more intensive forms of commercial development. Mixed Employment areas located outside of Urban Centres and Frequent Transit Development Areas are primarily intended for industrial and commercial uses that would not normally be attracted to these locations. Mixed Employment areas located outside of Urban Centres and Frequent Transit Development Areas may contain office and retail uses provided that they are at lower densities than typically higher density Urban Centres and Frequent Transit Development Areas and in locations well served by transit or have committed expansions to transit service. Residential uses are not intended in Mixed Employment areas."

And here we have an example of incompatible land use between Surrey and Langley where Langley residences are facing mixed employment on the other side of 196 Street.

Surrey Planning has stated:

"The subject property on which the development is occurring is designated “Mixed Employment” in the Metro Vancouver Regional Growth Strategy (RGS). The residential area in the Township of Langley east of 196 Street is designated “General Urban”. While the mixed employment and residential uses are certainly incompatible, the development conforms to the Metro Vancouver RGS Mixed Employment land use designation for the property. The 20 metre landscape buffer will be implemented to reconcile the differences with the adjacent residential use."

20 metres! Is it too late to halt this development in view of the attached GVRD Bylaw to which both Langley and Surrey are signatory?

Nigel Bell


Re: Brookswood-Fernridge Neighbourhood Plan Public Engagement Nigel Bell <>Feb 14, 2022, 6:29 PM (6 days ago) to Russell, Sean.Galloway, Kevin, Rod, Sarah, Tisha Thank you for this notification. We hope that you will ensure that any development along the Surrey Langley border will adhere to the Regional Growth Strategy as detailed in Metro Bylaw No. 1136, 2010. Specifically "Residential uses are not intended in Mixed Employment areas." This did not happen south of 36 Ave. along 196 th Street. Witness the construction currently underway of mixed employment warehousing in Surrey opposite residential housing in Langley Township. This, we believe, is an oversight on the part of both the City of Surrey and Langley Township. There should have been agreed buffers that respect incompatible land use and the principles of Bylaw 1136. Nigel Bell

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