The Golden Ears Business Park (GEBP) is located in Pitt Meadows, west of the Golden Ears Bridge and east of the Pitt Meadows Regional Airport. Consisting of four project phases, the business park encompasses 76.5 hectares (189 acres) of land and is zoned as light industrial and includes retail, office and warehouse spaces.

Project History 

Construction for Phase 1 is complete and Phase 2 is nearing completion. The bylaws to rezone phases 3 and 4 to light industrial business park were adopted by Council on May 22, 2018. Construction on Phase 3 and Phase 4 including trails, berms and landscaping is expected in the fall of 2020.

More information regarding phases 3 and 4 is available below. 

Updates

An Engagement & Priorities Committee (EPC) meeting was held on October 27, 2020 for the community to engage with Council regarding ONNI’s proposed Development Permit application for Phase 3 of the Golden Ears Business Park (GEBP), specifically, proposed enhancements to noise mitigation, buffering and setbacks, trails and green/viewscapes and architectural features. Information related to access locations and traffic impacts as well as preliminary plans and a timeline for widening Airport Way was also shared. Based on the feedback received, further changes to the design may be considered. Once the final design plans are submitted, the draft development permit will be presented to Council for consideration for approval at an upcoming meeting.

An additional EPC will be hosted for GEBP Phase 4 in the coming months. Stay tuned for more information and updates.

Project Benefits 

The Golden Ears Business Park offers many improvements to Pitt Meadows such as:

  • Providing additional tax revenues, phases 3 & 4 are estimated at $1.6 million per year (in addition to phases 1 and 2 revenues of $2.3 million);
  • Considerable road improvements, including the expansion of Airport Way to four lanes, fully signalized intersections at Harris Road and Bonson Road, and a signalized mid-block pedestrian crossing along Airport Way between Harris Road and Bonson Road;
  • Enhancing local employment opportunities; 
  • The eight-acre land amenity contribution provided by Onni and owned by the City, will additional space for municipal services;
  • 5.6 acres of land for buffers and berms owned by the developer will provide sight and sound mitigation as well as pathways for public use;
  • Construction and maintenance costs for the buffers and berms will be borne by the developer; and
  • A $1.5 million amenity contribution.

Golden Ears Business Park Memorandum of Understanding Approved by Council

Mayor and Council have approved a non-binding Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Onni for the Golden Ears Business Park (GEBP) phases 3 and 4. The MOU outlines certain objectives and concerns of each party and serves to provide guidance to Onni in its application for a development permit. 

A canopy to shelter commercial vehicles during outdoor loading and unloading is being considered for Phase 3. Onni is looking for opportunities to incorporate adequate buffering, landscaping and noise attenuation measures that are consistent with the City’s form and character guidelines.

For more information, watch the Council meeting and read the full media release here. 

$1.5 million Amenity Contribution for Structural Fill

Council has approved a permit for Onni to deposit 500,000 cubic metres of structural fill into the Golden Ears Business Park (GEBP) Phase 4 site. Onni has provided $1.5 million to the City as an amenity contribution.

Filling the site is necessary to raise current grades above the floodplain construction level. Structural fill was also used in GEBP phases 1, 2 and 3. Not only is structural fill industry standard, there are clear protocols in place to address environmental concerns such as the ability to trace the source of the fill. Structural fill provides a less intrusive option than the use of dredged sand.

The dredging of sand would require the installation of a pipe under/over Fraser Way which would cause problems with the City’s infrastructure and create capacity issues with the drainage network. Had dredging been used, it still may have necessitated sand to be transported by truck to the site and require sweeping and clean-up of the roadway. Surrounding neighbourhoods would experience a significant increase in noise levels with a 24/7 operation that occurs with dredging. 

An independent qualified environmental professional hired by the City and paid for by Onni will monitor environmental aspects and ensure that erosion and sediment control measures are properly implemented.

Land Amenity Contribution

As part of the development of the Golden Ears Business Park phases 3 and 4, Onni has provided a significant amenity contribution to the City, consisting of 13 acres of green space in South Bonson. This includes eight acres of land amenity with an estimated value of $22.5 million and 5.6 acres of an enhanced trail network.

Eight acres of the amenity contribution land will be owned by the City. The remaining 5.6 acres, allocated for buffers and berms, has been secured through a statutory right of way that gives the public exclusive use while owned/maintained by Onni. This means that Onni is responsible for the cost of installing and maintaining the buffers and berms.  This land will enable the City to develop additional park, recreation and field space that will connect to existing sports fields.

A four metre wide pathway will be included within the buffers and will facilitate community connectivity, which will be used by walkers, joggers, and cyclists, and encourage active transportation.

Next Steps

Opportunities for Community Feedback

Prior to the start of construction for phases 3 and 4, Council will host an Engagement and Priorities Committee meeting to proactively engage on building design, construction impacts, neighbourhood livability, landscaping and berms. This meeting is anticipated to be hosted later this year. Stay tuned to our website and social media channels for more information.

High Standard of Design

Onni has applied for development permits which will be considered and approved by Council. The development will be guided over time by development permit guidelines to control the form and character of the development. Development permit guidelines may be found in the City’s Official Community Plan.  

In April 2019, Council adopted new form and character development permit guidelines for the project. These guidelines encourage a high standard of industrial development that is cohesive and integrated into the surrounding community. 

Current Activities 

The Soil Permit for Phase 3 is coming to a close and is expected to be completed by summer 2020.

On December 10, 2019, a Soil permit for Phase 4 was approved by Council. Filling activities are underway.

Residents can expect to see dump trucks hauling fill to Phase 4 along Airport Way and Harris Road (south of Airport Way) Monday to Saturday. No fill activities are permitted on Sundays or statutory holidays. 

Reports & Related Information
Frequently Asked Questions
Why can’t the Phase 4 filling activities take the same route as Phase 3?

Trucks hauling fill to GEBP Phase 4 will access the site off of Harris Road via Airport Way, which poses the least impact to residents, traffic and the environment.

Access from Airport Way was permitted for Phase 3 due to the staging area created on the shoulder. Trucks entering the Phase 3 site can make a relatively simple right-hand turn into the site (as opposed to a left-hand turn into the site at Phase 4).

Airport Way is a busy arterial road with higher volumes of traffic compared to Harris Road, south of Airport Way – especially during morning and afternoon peak times. It is important that traffic continues to flow efficiently to maintain safety. Access off Harris Road is the safer option with less traffic. Flaggers will be required to ensure safe access and egress from the site at all times.

In addition, access from the existing crossing off Harris Road will have a reduced environmental impact. There is no current crossing into Phase 4 off of Airport Way without the installation of a crossing/culvert that would negatively impact the Katzie Slough.

Another reason for allowing access off Airport Way for the Sutton development was because the only other option for an access point would be off a residential road, Sutton Avenue. This is directly beside a residential neighbourhood.  Harris Road is further away from the residential area and considered to have less of an impact on residents and users of the area.

Onni must comply with the Traffic Management Plan and roadways must be kept clean. Staff will monitor the activities closely to ensure compliance and safe practices. Modifications will be made, if needed.

Structural Fill versus Dredged Sand
Why does the site need to be filled?

Filling the site is necessary to raise current grades above the floodplain to construction level.

Why is structural fill being used?

Structural fill provides a less intrusive option to the surrounding neighbourhoods and less of an impact on the City’s infrastructure than the use of dredged sand. Structural fill was also used in GEBP phases 1, 2 and 3.

What are the benefits of structural fill versus dredging?

Structural fill is industry standard. There are clear protocols in place to address environmental concerns such as the ability to trace the source of the fill.

Dredging would require the installation of a pipe under or over Fraser Way. This would result in a 24 hour/day seven day per week of activity and increased noise levels to surrounding neighbourhoods. Dredging sand would likely still require sand to be transported by truck to the site and require sweeping and clean-up of the roadway.

The dredging of sand also introduces additional water to the site that would negatively impact the City’s drainage network.

Compliance, Road Improvements and Timelines
How will the City ensure compliance with the permit?

An independent qualified environmental professional hired by the City and paid for by Onni will monitor environmental aspects and ensure that erosion and sediment control measures are properly implemented.

City staff will monitor the site and filling activities closely to ensure compliance is being met.

What is the Traffic Management Plan for the area?

Onni must comply with a Traffic Management Plan that minimizes disruption to vehicle, pedestrian/cyclists traffic, mitigates impact to neighbouring properties and addresses any safety concerns which may arise as a result of construction traffic. City staff will monitor activities closely to ensure compliance is being met.

What road improvements are planned and when is completion expected?

Airport Way will be expanded into four lanes and two fully signalized intersections including a signalized pedestrian crossing along Airport Way will be added and paid for by Onni. This work will occur at the conclusion of soil hauling activities and after 50 percent of construction on Phase 4 is complete.

GEBP 3 & 4 Land Amenity Contribution
If the City receives land as an amenity contribution, won’t we still have to pay to develop the land into useable municipal space?

The City has set aside $4.7 million, separate from residential tax revenue that will contribute to the development costs. How the new amenity lands will be used will be carefully considered in the City’s planning processes which will include significant public engagement.

How is the amenity contribution land value estimated at $22.5 million?

The land was valued at $40-45 per square foot of serviced land by an independent appraiser in May 2018. The total area is 13 acres; therefore, the total amenity contribution land value is estimated at $22.7 to $25.6 million. Eight acres of the amenity contribution land will be owned by the City, and the remaining five acres includes buffers and berms as a statutory right of way.

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