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Plan sees McKee Peak area as ‘outdoor adventure hub’ in Abbotsford

McKee Neighbourhood Plan nears final council approval
An artist’s rendering of McKee Village.

A plan for the McKee neighbourhood on Sumas Mountain in Abbotsford is one step closer to final approval.

City council gave first and second readings to the plan on Jan. 30, putting it at its fourth and final phase before being considered for adoption.

A public hearing on the matter is slated for March 6.

The McKee neighbourhood is a mountainous area known for its open space and trails. It is a largely undeveloped area of approximately 2,080 acres (842 hectares), according to the city.

A staff report to council says the final plan “presents a vision for the neighbourhood as an outdoor adventure hub in Abbotsford.”

The plan will be used by council in making decisions about the neighbourhood and by developers to determine issues such as allowable uses, building form and densities, the documents state.

The McKee area currently has a population of 4,600, which is anticipated to reach between 19,000 to 28,000 over the coming years, the plan indicates.

RELATED: City of Abbotsford moves to next phase of McKee Neighbourhood Plan

There are currently 1,500 units of housing, which are projected to reach 6,600 to 9,600 units.

The plan says “McKee Village” will be the “heart of the new neighbourhood,” with a mix of multi-family and commercial uses that include shops, restaurants, cafes and other services.

“It will be the adventure hub of Abbotsford, making it a focal point driving recreational tourism and increasing the economic viability of commercial businesses,” the plan states.

“Buildings will be designed to protect and complement the natural features of the mountainous landscape, with limits to building heights and McKee Village design guidelines.”

Among the considerations listed in the plan are limiting building heights to six storeys; prohibiting drive-thrus; having representation from Indigenous cultures, in consultation with First Nations; and protecting critical habitat, including “Three Creeks,” which will be maintained by the Fraser Valley Conservancy.

The McKee Neighbourhood Plan also calls for creating a publicly accessible green network, which includes parks, open spaces, views and trails, while “maintaining environmental integrity.”

Residents were invited to participate to an online survey from May 13 to 20, 2022, through which the city received 425 responses.

Many people urged the city to “leave the mountain alone.”

“Developments on the mountain are not something I’ll ever support,” said one.

Said another: “The loss of so many of the McKee Peak trails and green space will be a massive blow to the community … Based on the current maps, it appears the area will essentially become another piece of urban sprawl with insanely congested roads.”

Others were supportive of the plan, with one saying they were impressed with the way it “integrates residential growth with the existing landscape.”

“I think this area of town could benefit from an additional business centre that promotes the beauty and sustainability of the McKee Peak recreational area,” said another.

At the Jan. 30th council meeting, Mayor Ross Siemens emphasized that this is a “concept plan that will be discussing land use and density.”

“Deciding where roads and where trails and all those things (will go) – that will come at another time further down,” he said.

“This is basically the overall concept plan for the neighbourhood, and then, as applications come forward, there will be another layer of consultation at that point to decide some of those issues.”

City staff will now seek comment from entities such as the school district, local First Nations, BC Transit, Fraser Health, the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, and others.

The matter is expected to come back before council for final approval on March 27. The full plan can be viewed online at

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An artist’s rendering of the McKee neighbourhood looking south depicts the intersection of McKee Road and Blauson Boulevard.

Vikki Hopes

About the Author: Vikki Hopes

I have been a journalist for almost 40 years, and have been at the Abbotsford News since 1991.
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