Surrey Defines Transit-Oriented Areas (TOAs) and Removes Parking Requirements

Rendering of a transit station in Surrey, Fraser Valley British Columbia June 4, 2024

By Mike Harrison

At the May 27th council meeting First and Second Reading were given to a bylaw identifying the 12 Skytrain stations and 3 bus exchanges that have been officially identified as Transit Oriented Areas (TOAs) pursuant to the new provincial housing legislation. 

Surrey’s 15 TOAs are:

  • Scott Road SkyTrain Station
  • Gateway SkyTrain Station
  • Surrey Central SkyTrain Station
  • King George SkyTrain Station
  • Green Timbers SkyTrain Station (Fraser Hwy & 140 Street)
  • 152 Street SkyTrain Station
  • Fleetwood SkyTrain Station
  • Bakerview-166 Street SkyTrain Station
  • Hillcrest-184 Street SkyTrain Station
  • Clayton SkyTrain Station (Fraser Hwy & 190 Street)
  • Willowbrook SkyTrain Station (Fraser Hwy & 196 Street)
  • Columbia SkyTrain Station
  • Guildford Mall Bus Exchange (104 Avenue & 151 Street)
  • Newton Bus Exchange (72 Avenue & 137 Street)
  • Scottsdale Bus Exchange (Scott Road & 72 Avenue)

Provincial housing legislation requires minimum densities and building heights within specified distances (or tiers) from each station or exchange. The chart below outlines these tiers and the associated densities. Tiers 1-3 apply to SkyTrain stations and tiers 4 and 5 apply to bus exchanges.

Below is an example of one of the new TOA designation maps for the new Clayton SkyTrain Station on Fraser Highway at approximately 190 Street. The rest of the TOA maps can be found by following the link at the end of this article.


Things to know:

  • Densities and heights are minimums, and the City cannot deny an application on the basis of proposed density or building height alone if it complies with the minimum set out above. 
  • If a property is partially within a tier, the entire property is awarded the minimum density.
  • If a property lies in two tiers, the higher density tier applies
  • Bus exchange TOAs are 400 metres

Things to watch out for:

  • The City’s OCP or secondary plans will still apply, and the report to council explains the minimum densities impact all uses and tenures. Land use plans may still apply additional requirements for commercial, office and/or institutional uses. 
  • The City may require some or all of a residential use to be rental. 
  • Community Amenity Contribution calculations will not be impacted by minimum densities; calculations are still based on the densities prescribed by the OCP or secondary plans land use designation

Parking Requirements in Transit-Oriented Areas

In addition to the implementation of TOAs, the Province requires municipalities to eliminate off-street parking requirements within TOAs in an effort to reduce construction costs. Developers and builders will still plan and construct a reasonable quantity of parking in order to ensure the development is saleable, but the City can no longer require a minimum number of parking stalls. Similarly, the bylaw amendments also remove existing provisiongs allowing payment-in-lieu of parking within City Centre.

CLICK HERE for the full report to council where you will find maps of all Transit Oriented Areas.

For more information on the residential development land market in the Fraser Valley or to sign up for my monthly newsletter, please contact:

Mike Harrison

    • Principal, Development Land Sales
    • Land and Development
[email protected]

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Data sourced from Fraser Valley Real Estate Board