The proposed 35-storey highrise at 75A Avenue and Scott Road as seen from the south-east. (Hari Homes Inc./Barnett Dembek Architects Inc. photo)

UPDATED: Council denies 35-storey North Delta highrise proposal

Council voted 5-2 to reject the project on Monday night

Delta council has rejected a 35-storey highrise project proposed for the corner of 75A Avenue and Scott Road.

On Monday night (Dec. 2), council voted 5-2 to deny the application put forward by Arzone Real Estate Investments Ltd. and Hari Homes Inc. that would have added 335 units of housing in the largely single-family neighbourhood.

Coun. Jeannie Kanakos moved that council deny the application, with councillors Dan Copeland, Alicia Guichon, Lois Jackson and Bruce McDonald voting in support of her motion.

Only Coun. Dylan Kruger and Mayor George Harvie were in favour of giving the project third reading.

The highrise proposal had drawn a fair amount of criticism since council received the initial application in May 2017, prompting several rounds of revisions based on feedback received from council committees and at various public information meetings.

The latest change, received by the city on May 16 of this year, increased the number of units in the project from 294 to 335 in order to make 20 per cent of them (70 units) affordable housing under the Affordable Home Ownership Program (AHOP).

AHOP is a BC Housing initiative that provides interim construction financing at reduced rates and leverages contributions from project partners (such as the City of Delta) to ensure units are made available for eligible home buyers at five to 20 per cent below market value.

However, the project would also have necessitated a significant change to the official North Delta community plan (OCP).

The OCP currently calls for high-density mixed use development along Scott Road, namely at 72nd, 80th, 88th and 96th, as well as medium-density mixed use development at 64th and 84th avenues, but the project’s location at the northwest corner of Scott Road and 75A Avenue is zoned as “medium density residential,” a designation intended for low-rise multi-family structures no more than six storeys high.

Much of the concern and criticism of the project, both from councillors and those who spoke against the highrise during a two-day public hearing Nov. 26-27, centred on the scope of the project being out of sync with the neighbourhood and not in line with the OCP.

Opponents also voiced strong concerns about traffic in and out of the site, as well as added congestion to already crowded neighbourhood streets and the stop-and-go commute along Scott Road, often disputing or dismissing the traffic studies done by the proponent and the city.

Meanwhile, those in favour of the project spoke to the need for more housing stock in the community, especially affordable and rental units. They highlighted how seniors looking to downsize, young first-time buyers and new families were having to leave the city in order to find housing they could afford.

For many, the project’s proximity to shops, restaurants and services, as well as its location on a major transit corridor that is set to receive B-Line (now dubbed RapidBus) service in 2022, meant future residents wouldn’t have to rely on their cars to get around, negating concerns about the development’s impact on local traffic.

READ MORE: Generational divide separates supporters, opponents at North Delta highrise hearing

SEE ALSO: Council postpones decision on North Delta highrise project

Tensions ran high over the nine hours of public hearings on Nov. 26-27. Comments were at times heated from both sides, with accusations of ageism from some of the development’s opponents, and an “OK, boomer” vibe coming from some of the mostly younger group of supporters of the project.

Allegations of millennial entitlement, NIMBY-ism (“Not-in-my-back-yard”), greed on the part of real estate agents and developers, and thinly-veiled racism also worked their way into several of the arguments presented.

Before calling the vote on Monday evening, Mayor George Harvie expressed his disappointment at the sharp divide and bitterness on display during the public hearing.

“This does not represent the North Delta community that I have worked in as city manager for over 20 years,” he said.

Citing the need to give certainty to both the residential community and to developers, Harvie announced he will be forming a housing action task force in early 2020 to review the North Delta area plan and, specifically, redevelopment along the entire Scott Road corridor.

“The North Delta area plan was approved in 2014; Delta’s housing needs have drastically changed since then, and it needs to be discussed with the North Delta community again. The responsibility of the mayor of a city is to show leadership to solve community issues, and I intend to do just that,” he said.

“My vision is to give assurance to the North Delta residential community that Delta has an up-to-date plan that will not be subject to ongoing significant development applications [beyond what is set out in the OCP], and for the development community, assurances as to where much-needed housing can be built in the Scott Road corridor.

“As mayor, I will work with the North Delta community through a Mayor’s Housing Task Force to develop a housing plan that is supported by the North Delta community and looks after everyone — our youth, seniors and our most vulnerable. We need to work hard to close this housing gap.”

— with files from Jen St. Denis

SEE ALSO: Residents group protests against proposed 35-storey North Delta highrise



editor@northdeltareporter.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Intent of killing at centre of Surrey man’s West Kelowna murder trial

B.C. Supreme Court Justice Allison Beames is anticipated to return with her decision in August

White Rock dogs-on-promenade survey shows majority approval

City figures suggest that off-season program could continue

UPDATE: Pedestrian dies after being hit by bus in uptown White Rock

Collision occurred July 3 at North Bluff Road and Johnston Road

PHOTOS: South Surrey tractor project evokes ‘$1-million smile,’ helps connect neighbours

Retired Surrey firefighter Ron Henze began project for friend’s dad to fill time during pandemic

VIDEO: Musqueam Chief captures captivating footage of bald eagle catching meal

‘This is why we have chosen to live here since time immemorial,’ Chief Wayne Sparrow’s nephew says

Police ramp up efforts to get impaired drivers off B.C. roads this summer

July is dedicated to the Summer CounterAttack Impaired Driving Campaign

Migrant workers stage multi-city action for full status amid COVID-19 risks

‘COVID-19 has exacerbated an existing crisis’

Okanagan school drops ‘Rebels’ sports team name, citing links with U.S. Civil War

Name and formerly-used images “fly in the face” of the district’s human rights policy, says board chair

PHOTOS: B.C.’s top doc picks up personalized Fluevog shoes, tours mural exhibition

Murals of Gratitude exhibit includes at least one portrait of Henry alongside paintings of health-care workers

Langley vigil demands justice for Ontario animal activist killed protesting in front of slaughterhouse

More than two dozen people gathered at Britco Pork to remember Regan Russell, and fight Bill 156

In troubled times: Independence Day in a land of confusion

Buffeted by invisible forces and just plain worn out, the United States of America celebrates its 244th birthday

Stop enforcing sex work laws during COVID-19, advocates say

There are provisions in Canada’s prostitution laws that make workers immune from prosecution, but not from arrest

Liberal party finished 2019 having spent $43 million, raised $42 million

All political parties had until midnight June 30 to submit their financial reports for last year

Most Read