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[Jenelle Schneider / PNG]

Golf and country-residential go together like bears and garbage cans. The Morgan Creek development of recent decades has pushed big house cul-de-sacs into rural land along 32nd Avenue east of Highway 99 – its accessibility to malls and commuting was made easier by the 32nd Avenue interchange that went in about 15 years ago.

Now there’s this, where the Hazelmere Golf Course on 8th Avenue east of 176th (the Pacific Highway which leads down to the truck crossing) has been the only non-rural incursion for many years. This article by Larry Pynn in the Vancouver Sun describes the latest attempt to push an “urban” use past the Metro containment boundary. (Thanks to David Riley for the tip.)

A planned residential development in rural Hazelmere in south Surrey was described Friday as both a dangerous land-use precedent and a boost to young farmers and the local environment.

The Metro Vancouver regional board ultimately decided that residents should have a say at a public hearing before a final decision is made on the project.

Regional staff had recommended against the City of Surrey’s request to amend the Metro 2040: Shaping our Future land-use designation map in order to accommodate the development proposal.

The amendment would create a “23.7-hectare non-contiguous extension” of the Metro 2040 Urban Containment Boundary, and redesignate lands from Metro 2040 Rural to General Urban.

The plan for a 145-lot single-family residential subdivision, housing about 450 residents, would require extending regional sewer lines to the site, which is part of the Hazelmere golf course development.

“The proposed amendment challenges the most fundamental elements of Metro 2040 – containing urban sprawl, focusing urban growth to support complete communities, and efficient transportation and infrastructure investments,” the staff report read.

“In addition, approval would set a clear precedent regarding the permeability of the urban containment boundary, and likely trigger additional land development speculation in the rural areas of southeastern Surrey and other similar areas of the region.”