Enforcement of topsoil requirement for rainfall capture at Morgan Heights in the City of Surrey
Getting Green Infrastructure Built Right at Morgan Heights
The 2009 Surrey Water Balance Model Forum was designed to start a dialogue between policy-makers and project implementers about a shared responsibility for getting green infrastructure built right. The Forum program explored how policy and legal tools can help developers, regulators and designers collaborate to ensure responsible outcomes.
“We showcased the Morgan Heights development at the Forum because it exemplifies what we mean by shared responsibility,” states Remi Dubé, Drainage Planning Manager with the City of Surrey. “So we asked Ken Anderson, the development project manager, to tell his story at the Forum. Ken has been proactive in working with his builders to ensure the effectiveness of the absorbent layer of topsoil on each property that he develops.”
Morgan Heights straddles about 79 hectares bounded by the Highway 99 corridor to the west, 28th Avenue to the north, 24th Avenue to the south, and 164th Street to the east. Morgan Heights is a planned community of 5400 people.
From Start to Finish
“Ken provided a great perspective because his approach to development is to be involved from start to finish. He was part of the Neighbourhood Community Plan process; and he will be there when the last houses are built.”
“Ken truly has the big picture; this includes the City’s objectives, and the issues of community concern such as downstream drainage impacts. Ken is also intimately involved in the details, in particular ensuring that on-site rainfall capture systems are built properly.”
Cash compiance’ ensures that homeowners and builders understand what ‘shared responsibility’ means on the ground
“A key message about the Morgan Heights development is that Ken Anderson has taken responsibility to make rainfall capture happen on the lots that he has developed. He is holding securities for landscaping and sediment control; and that money is not released until after the houses are built.”
It Makes Good Business Sense
Ken Anderson captivated the audience with his story of the step-by-step process of working with a purchaser from the start of house construction to the point where the purchaser takes possession and moves into the house.
“Cash compliance is the ultimate hammer,” states Ken Anderson. “We tell the homeowners and builders upfront what we expect on the site and on the street. This requires a lot of hands-on attention and consistent enforcement to ensure consistent compliance.”
“We give each purchaser a two-sided laminated handout that tells them what we expect. The handout also tells them the consequences of not complying. This is buttresed by a further cash compliance of $15,000.”
“We have taken this approach to enforcement of guidelines because it makes good business sense. We do this because we are selling a community.”
Link to YouTube Video:
Click on Making It Happen at the Site Scale to view Ken Anderson on YouTube. In the 10-minute video, he describes the approach he has taken and the lessons he has learned about enforcement and shared responsibility.
Posted August 2009