The Newton Cultural District NCP is a comprehensive strategy for the development of a commercial district the West Newton area. A key focus of the NCP will be to follow a distinctive South Asian theme in to create a unique character for the area, while building a commercial centre with cultural amenities.
The goals for the NCP can be summarized into 3 key points:
Enhanced Design: Existing and New Buildings
A. Rezoning/OCP Amendment
The OCP Amendment, also known as the Development Permit, will allow commercial designations in the area under the C-8 zoning. The Surrey City Council considered the redevelopment of the northwest corner property located at 80 Avenue and 128 Street. An Official Community Plan amendment was included in the development application to change the Industrial designation of the area to Commercial and a rezoning, development permit and land use contract discharge to allow for the construction of retail/commercial buildings and a banquet hall (4 buildings in total)
The design and appearance of commercial-oriented developments, located on corners of 128 street and 80 avenue, will change from the existing industrial character and design standards to an aesthetic that includes more decorative features and architectural detailing. Currently, there is very minimal landscaping, signage and sidewalks/formal pedestrian connections.
B. Enhanced Design: Existing & New Buildings
In order to create an inviting cultural and commercial aesthetic the existing buildings, along with new construction, will highlight high quality contemporary finishes such as metal panelling. To further add to the cultural theme, there will be a focus on increasing the use of colours on site and the use of architectural features such as: architectural features (canopies and glazing), columns and other character features. Existing buildings will be repainted and pedestrian amenity will be improved with upgraded weather protection. The underlying theme will be contemporary and simple architecture with colourful decoration added.
According to the NCP, buildings should be brought closer to the street to engage drive aisles. They should also express different functions as distinct forms, while emphasizing main entrances to second floor uses. This can be seen through the use of canopies using lighting features for banquet halls. Second floor uses and at-grade areas should interact with one another more fluidly. Second floor signage and signage in general on buildings should be improved greatly. Landscaping improvements on-site and accessible public plazas will help add to the inviting character of these buildings. Projection signs, lighted signs and second-floor fascia signage will be allowed, while banners as permanent business signage and full-window coverage signage will be banned. To improve driver safety and enhance way-finding, internal lanes should be animated. In order to minimize grade impacts, stairs/ramps should be avoided.
C. Boulevard Improvements
The existing boulevard on 128th Street requires significant improvements. The sidewalk is immediately adjacent to traffic, there is limited landscaping in the area, pedestrian-scale lighting is extremely low and buildings are too far from the street. In order to enhance the pedestrian experience, improved sidewalks and boulevard landscaping are essential. The existing curb location should be maintained, but the sidewalk should be relocated. In order to ensure pedestrian safety, pedestrian lighting poles should be install along the street frontage. The signage should also match the character lighting of the area.
In order to complete boulevard improvements, approximately $1.2MM will be required. Undeveloped sites will be paying commercial DCCs, which are far higher than current industrial DCCs, while developed sites have already been paying industrial DCCs. Therefore, developed sites will be expected to contribute fairly to off-site boulevard improvements in the CNCCD.
If you have any questions regarding the Newton Cultural NCP, feel free to contact us today via phone: (604) 445-3343 or by visiting edgerealestate.com to see what the Edge can do for you!
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