Residents at Thursday night’s info session for a proposed highrise development on Scott Road expressed concern about the effect the increased density would affect their neighbourhood.
The proposed development features a 35-storey highrise on the corner of Scott Road and 75A Avenue, plus 16 townhomes along Scott Road and 10 more bordering 119A Street.
Linda Erickson brought her petition against the development to the info session, held at Sungod Recreation Centre on Thursday, Sept. 21.
“It’s an ill-conceived idea,” Erickson said, “primarily because it’s in a residential area. It’s not an urban centre.”
Erickson has been taking her petition door to door since July, and currently has around 350 signatures against the proposed development. She received a few more signatures at Thursday night’s session.
“It’s just a lot of development for that space,” she said.
Fellow petitioner Marianne Lawrenson agreed.
“We’re not opposed to the development of the space,” Lawrenson said. “We just want them to keep it … medium-density, not high-density.”
Not everyone at the information session was opposed to the high-density development — one man asked developer Aloke Chowdhury when the apartments and townhomes would be available for sale, and another commented on the need for density in North Delta.
Chowdhury had that same idea in mind when he proposed the development.
“I’m living in Delta for the last 25 years, and when I found out that Delta needs more multi-family homes for the young families to move in … we [wanted] to make this … have more density,” he said.
“We’ll see how it works,” he added. “It’s very early stages.”
Lisa Lewko, a resident who lives near the proposed development, can see the need for density in North Delta, but thinks it should be brought to Delta in stages.
“I think it’s too much too soon,” she said. “Sure we need housing, especially affordable housing. But to throw highrises in an area where we’ve just had one- or two-storeys is just too much.”
Although the neighbourhood to the west of the proposed development is largely one- and two-storey homes, there are four-storey mixed-used buildings in that same area of Scott Road.
“Surrey has some nice [three- to six-storey buildings] on their side,” she continued. “I think if we matched that, even surpassed it in beauty, that would be fine.”
The highrise is proposed to have 268 apartments, 16 four-story townhomes, 10 three-storey townhomes, 92 sq. m of commercial space and 160 sq. m of daycare space. Parking for the development would be largely underground, and access to the buildings would be from 119A Street.
According to architect Lance Barnett, who has worked on developing the design of the building for the last year and a half, the development is meant to meld with the variety of building designs in the area.
— Grace Kennedy (@gracekenn) September 22, 2017
The highrise borders Scott Road, a future high- and medium-density node according to Delta’s official community plan. The four-storey townhomes along Scott Road mirror the mixed-use buildings on the other side of 75A Avenue. The lots between Crossroads United Church and the development are currently single family, but are noted in the urban context plan as future multi-family lots. The 10 townhomes bordering 119A Street will be three-storeys, which Barnett said will help scale the development back to fit into the single-family neighbourhood.
Although some attendees were significantly opposed to the development, others were more worried about the impact additional cars will have on the local streets.
According to Irene Li, who lives near the intersection of 119A Street and 75A Avenue, traffic is already bad in that area.
“There are cars, a lot of cars here,” Li said. “Even in the morning, sometimes after four or five o’clock, I hear a lot of noise.”
“Suddenly you have 35 levels of the highrise,” she continued. “How many cars will we have? How much noise?”
Li particularly noted the busyness around school pick up and drop off times — Jarvis Traditional Elementary can be accessed by parents coming off Scott Road through 75A Avenue and 119A Street.
One attendee, who was talking to director of engineering Steven Lan, said the highrise “wouldn’t hurt [him] that much anyways,” but that traffic along 119A would be “a damn disaster.”
Delta doesn’t have a plan to tackle concerns about traffic on those streets at this stage in the application process, but Lan said he would be taking residents’ comments into account as the proposal moves forward.
“For tonight, we’re here to listen,” Lan said at the information session. “This is at the very early stages of their proposed project, and we’re going to be looking at it in detail.”
Currently, the development is in the public consultation period. Next steps will see the application referred to the Community Planning Advisory Committee, the Advisory Design Panel and the Invest in Delta Mayor’s Standing Committee, followed by a response from the applicant to public, staff and committee recommendations.
The application likely won’t go to council for first reading until December 2017 or early 2018.