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Draft Delta OCP headed to public hearing

Changes to allow for more density as city ordered to add 3,607 net new housing units over five years
These maps showing proposed new land use designations in Ladner (top-left), Tsawwassen (bottom-left) and North Delta (right) under the draft Delta Official Community Plan were on display during a series of open houses in March of 2024. (City of Delta images)

Residents will get their chance to tell Delta council what they think of the city’s proposed new Official Community Plan at a hearing later this month.

The changes, spurred by provincial legislation adopted late last year and a ministerial order mandating Delta add 3,607 net new housing units over the next five years, will open the door to greater density in most urban areas of the city, with certain locations and corridors earmarked for buildings up to six, 24 and 32 storeys tall.

The proposed update to the OCP was the subject of four open houses in March attended by around 1,200 residents and three online public info sessions, including one in Punjabi and one for Delta’s business community.

Last month, the city received 1,034 responses to a survey about the changes, in addition to 91 pieces of correspondence since Feb. 17. The final draft OCP presented to council for first and second reading Monday afternoon incorporates the feedback received to date.

“Council is very grateful for the significant effort by staff and the extraordinary participation by the community that made it possible to deliver the proposed OCP for formal consideration,” Mayor George Harvie said in a statement Tuesday morning.

“We’re looking forward to the public hearing process to understand if the resulting recommendations for managing growth address the concerns of the community and balance the need to add housing with our shared interest in responsible development.”

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The OCP updates are largely structured around three “big changes,” notes a staff report to council, namely enabling more opportunities for townhouses and apartments, enabling small-scale multi-unit housing and simplifying land use designations.

The latter change would reduce the number of designations from more than 75 currently — some of which are only applicable to a couple of properties — to a mere 10.

Once adopted, the OCP would create a new “urban centres” designation allowing for six storeys “with opportunities for up to 24 storeys where a significant community contribution is provided” in key areas of the city.

“Urban centres are envisioned as the local hub for each community, where shops, services and employment opportunities are located together to create lively, safe and inviting destinations,” the report states. “This proposed designation will emphasize active storefronts at street level that contribute to engaging pedestrian experiences.”

Among the areas that would receive the designation are the North Delta Social Heart at 84th Avenue and 112th Street, Tsawwassen Town Centre mall and adjacent properties along 56th Street and 12th Avenue, and Ladner Village — though a 2021 OCP update limiting heights in the village to six storeys will remain in effect.

The Scott Road Corridor — from 96th Avenue to 68th Avenue and extending west to generally around 118th Street — would receive its own standalone land use designation allowing primarily mixed-use buildings of up to six storeys, and up to 32 storeys in certain locations provided there is a “significant community contribution.”

“This proposed designation offers opportunities for the highest density in the city fronting Scott Road, with transitional heights moving westward,” the report states.

For both designations, rental and non-market housing would be “encouraged” in all projects over six storeys and “expected” for projects 18 storeys or higher.

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Meanwhile, other sites and streets would be designated “neighbourhood centres and corridors,” permitting townhouses and six-storey residential, commercial and mixed-use buildings. North Delta locations include 84th between the Scott Road Corridor and Social Heart urban centre, the shopping centres at 64th Avenue and Scott Road, and smaller pockets of commercial properties like around Annieville Market and Greek Fellas Restaurant on River Road and around the Chevron station at 96th Avenue and 116th Street.

Other areas, like the 72nd Avenue corridor, Sunstone Village and the neighbourhoods surrounding the 84th Avenue corridor, would be designated “mixed residential,” allowing for three-storey houseplexes, townhouses and rowhouses, alongside accessory dwelling units including secondary suites, coach homes and garden suites. The classification would also allow for “limited, small commercial uses” such as neighbourhood stores, cafes and childcare facilities.

The remaining areas of the city currently zoned for single-detached homes and duplexes would be re-designated “small scale residential,” permitting up to four units per lot as per the new provincial legislation. The move would be supported by new policies also laid out in the OCP to support so-called small-scale multi-unit housing (garden suites, coaches houses, etc.) and by related zoning bylaw changes to allow multi-unit housing forms — the province requires the latter be done no later than June 30 of this year.

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“Industrial” and “agricultural” designations will remain largely as they are. Parks, green spaces, environmentally sensitive areas and other such parcels will be grouped into a new “conservation and leisure” designation, while former classifications such as recreation, institutional, civic and school will be combined under the new “civic and institutional” label.

Finally, the designation “marine mixed use” will apply to properties with “unique combinations of residential and marine industrial due to their riverfront locations.”

If the draft OCP is adopted, the new land use designations would not overwrite existing zoning in the city — that will require amending Delta’s Zoning Bylaw, a “next step” currently in the works to meet the aforementioned multi-unit housing requirement set out by the province.

Before third reading, the draft OCP will be the subject of a public hearing scheduled for 3 p.m. on Monday, April 22.

To answer residents’ questions about the proposed OCP in advance of the hearing, the city will be holding two open houses: at the Ladner Community Centre (4734 51st St.) on Wednesday, April 17, and at the North Delta Recreation Centre (11415 84th Ave.) on Thursday, April 18. Both sessions will run from 6 to 8 p.m. Residents can also send their questions to (Note that emails sent to this address will not form part of the public hearing record.)

Formal feedback to be considered at the public hearing should be sent to Those wishing to speak at the hearing, either virtually or in-person, can add their name to the list using the same email address.

More info about the draft OCP, including the public feedback received so far and interactive side-by-side maps residents can use to see the current and proposed land use designations for all properties in the city, is available at

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The Scott Road Corridor would receive its own standalone land use designation under the proposed new Delta Official Community Plan, with some stretches earmarked for mixed-use buildings up to 32 storeys high. (City of Delta image)

James Smith

About the Author: James Smith

James Smith is the founding editor of the North Delta Reporter.
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