North Delta’s Firehall Centre for the Arts facing the wrecking ball

Developer proposing to buy the site from Delta and build two six-storey townhouses.

Firehall Centre for the Arts

Many residents living near the North Delta Recreation Centre are unhappy about the possible erection of two apartment buildings on the property after a second public consultation on the project Tuesday evening.

Should the proposal be approved, the Corporation of Delta would sell a portion of the municipal land at 11489 84 Ave., including the Firehall Centre for the Arts, without tendering other proposals, to H. Sharma and Associates. The land will be merged with the property at 11503 84 Ave. and rezoned for multi-unit residential use.

The development firm plans to build two four-to-six-storey multi-family apartment buildings, three storeys higher than initially proposed and three-and-a-half storeys higher than what is currently allowed in the area, and two three-storey townhouse units on the same property.

Some North Deltans living in the immediate area contested that the project would create unwanted density and visual obstructions.

“I’m good at three storeys,” said area resident Sandy Lau. “Six storeys is insane.”

“If you make a decision to build something to a level consistent with residential expectations, why would you then allow a six-storey building in here? It doesn’t make sense.”

The revised proposal includes 136 dwellings in total, 32 more than what was originally put forward.

The money that the Corporation of Delta would receive from the land sale would go towards construction of a new arts and culture centre adjacent to the North Delta Recreation Centre. The Firehall Centre for Arts would be knocked down.

Lau said Delta shouldn’t “plow down a heritage site for this.”

Petitioners Kellie and Dave Phipps, Nicole Lalonde and Terry Sullivan, collected signatures and contact info from other attendees for the sake of having the Firehall Centre designated an official heritage site.

This, they hope, would at least prevent the Corporation from selling it off as planned.

“That would be a long process, but they wouldn’t be able to build,” said Kellie Phipps. “We’re directly affected by this.”

H. Sharma and Associates vice-president Satish Sharma said the Firehall Centre was “beyond repair” and that there is need for a new centre.

Sharma said that density concerns could be mitigated in part by removing parking from the street and keeping it underground. However, the revised proposal reduces available parking overall.

“Look at the density here,” he said, pointing at the satellite view of the area. “This is all parking lot. Look at the amenities in the area here. There’s a hockey rink, a curling rink, a gym here — you can’t ask for a better place to put density, to get people out of their cars, than this location here.”

Jimmy Ho, a planner with Delta’s community planning and development department, acknowledged that “there will be an impact on neighbours” and that the public’s concerns are realistic, but maintained that the project has its merits.

While he stopped short of saying that he is a proponent of the proposal, Ho did say, “For Delta, there is a benefit.”

As for the public’s input on Monday evening, Ho said that he had received generally good comments and that people liked the prospect of a new arts centre.

Ho added, however, that he heard “more comments about the concerns than the other aspects.”

Ho said a date has not yet been set for council to discuss the proposal.

Just Posted

North Delta robotics team set to take on the best in the world

Seaquam Secondary’s robotics team is headed to Kentucky for the Vex Robotics World Championships

Easter ‘eggstravaganza’ event planned for South Surrey

Event is to run from 12-3 p.m. at Dufferin Park (17355 2 Ave.).

Man ‘seriously’ injured in crash after driving wrong way on Highway 17: Surrey RCMP

Police say the sedan hit a transport truck, then another car

Update: Surrey Mounties found missing man

Kuldip Sandhu, 41, had been reported missing

IHIT hunting in Edmonton for clues to 2017 Surrey homicide

Tanner Krupa, 19 was found dead in an alley in August 2017, in the 6900-block of 127A Street

VIDEO: Alberta man creates world’s biggest caricature

Dean Foster is trying to break the world record for a radio show contest

Should B.C. lower speed limits on side roads to 30 km/h?

Vancouver city councillor wants to decrease speed limits along neighbourhood side roads

Lawsuit eyed over union-only raise for B.C. community care workers

‘Low-wage redress’ leaves 17,000 employees out, employers say

Landlord of alleged Okanagan shooter recounts deadly day

Tony Friesen was working in one of the units of his Penticton building when he heard shots

Foreign national arrested in connection to thefts at YVR

A woman, 60, is being held in police custody as Richmond RCMP investigate

Police pursue pesky porker on Vancouver Island

‘This was allegedly not the pig’s first escape’

Rare ‘Snow Tower’ tree blooming in Vancouver city park

A plant rarely grown in Canada is now flowering at the Bloedel Conservatory in Queen Elizabeth Park

Westjet tries again to dismiss proposed class-action lawsuit alleging discrimination

Former flight attendant claims airline broke contractual promise to create harassment-free workplace

Man airlifted to hospital after apparent hunting incident in East Kootenay

The man was in stable condition when he was flown out of Fairmont Hot Springs to a Calgary hospital

Most Read