Proposed rezoning of North Delta’s Sunshine Village neighbourhood falls through

Confusion about the ramifications of the rezoning led to many people withdrawing their support for the proposal.

Lawn signs like this adorn many of the properties in Sunshine Village as residents fight construction of “mega-homes” in the neighbourhood.

A petition which sparked debate and confusion within a North Delta neighbourhood fell flat last week, losing steam shortly before council could weigh in on the issue.

The document aimed to preserve Sunshine Village’s character and green spaces against the spread of so called “mega-homes” in the area through the use of neighbourhood rezoning.

However, confusion about the impact the new zoning would have on existing homes and property values led to many people withdrawing their support, ultimately dropping the petition below the 75 per cent threshold necessary for it to be considered by council.

See more: Some Sunshine Hills residents concerned over plan to rezone the North Delta neighbourhood

At last week’s council meeting, Mayor Lois Jackson and other councillors acknowledged the confusion surrounding the petition’s intentions and origins, emphasizing that it was not put forward by the Corporation of Delta.

Jackson went on to say that even though the petition had failed, she remained in support of community action, saying that if “a neighbourhood the size of two or three hundred people want their neighbourhood to grow into the future in a particular fashion, I don’t know why government should tell them why they can’t have it.”

In response to the confusion, Coun. Bruce McDonald requested city staff investigate previous instances of neighbourhood rezoning – of which Delta has six – to determine if residents in these areas are still satisfied with the restrictions and measure what, if any, effect they have had on property values.

Trevor Smith, the principal mover behind the Save Sunshine Village petition, said he felt “thrown under the bus” by council choosing not to hear his group out, despite acknowledging less than 75 per cent of the neighbourhood’s residents still supported it.

A principal criticism of the proposed zoning specifications was that they would affect existing properties as well, meaning many homeowners wouldn’t be able to rebuild the home they currently have if it were destroyed. Opponents of the rezoning alleged that only 12 out of the 211 houses in the neighbourhood would conform to the new standard.

Marcy Sangret, deputy director of community planning for the Corporation of Delta, said she couldn’t accurately confirm whether properties would meet the criteria in the neighbourhood zoning petition as a site survey of each property would first be needed.

“As Delta does not have survey information for each property, we cannot say how many properties would or would not meet the zoning criteria proposed by the petition,” she said in an email to the Reporter.

Smith alleged that the proposal for updated zoning would only have affected new homes, a point contradicted by Sangret in an interview Tuesday.

Sangret said that while existing homes would not have been forced to be altered to fit the proposed specifications, they would have been affected should there be any modifications to their structure.

Despite falling short this time, Smith said he and his group would seek additional avenues to protect their neighbourhood.

“We’re not going to go away,” he said.

Firth Bateman, a Sunshine Village resident who opposed the rezoning, said that while nobody in the neighbourhood wants these mega-homes, the zoning proposal was poorly crafted, citing unclear wording and alleging it would depress property values.

“One of the problems was they didn’t define what a mega-home was. They didn’t want mega homes but nobody said what a mega-home was, so that was one of the problems we had with the petition right away,” Bateman said.

An upside to the fracas, according to Bateman, is that it forced the community to engage on issues affecting it, something he said doesn’t happen often enough.

“People don’t get involved. They see a development sign go up, or they get a notice of a public meeting or a public hearing, but they don’t go. They don’t speak [up] and you have to. That’s one good thing that may have come out of this.”

Just Posted

PHOTOS: White Rock Festival of Lights celebrated with a cheer

Hundreds of people gathered in the city Saturday for a Christmas event

Delta police campaign shines a light relationship violence

Campaign comes after a Delta man was charged with assault with a weapon and uttering threats

Seniors plead to Surrey council ahead of public hearing for 1,000-plus unit development

In June, seniors in the buildings said they felt ‘left in the cold’ as plans for redevelopment materialized

Surrey RCMP asks for public’s help to find missing 15-year-old boy

Prabhjot Singh Gill was last seen Dec. 6 in the area of 140th Street and 66th Avenue

Surrey 37 per cent behind in housing supply projections

Of 18 cities in Metro Vancouver, only City of North Vancouver and Richmond met or exceeded projections

VIDEO: SNL skewers Trudeau’s mockery of Trump in high school cafeteria sketch

The three world leaders won’t let Trump sit at the cool kids’ table

B.C. VIEWS: An engine that hums right along

First Nations are leading a new surge of investment in B.C.

Brain injury from domestic abuse a ‘public health crisis,’ says B.C. researcher

Nearly 80% of the domestic violence victims who reported to police last year were woman

Campbell River mom’s iPhone containing priceless photos stolen from Victoria hospital parkade

The phone contained photos, heartbeat recordings of her late son

Miller nets winner as Canucks edge Sabres 6-5 in OT

Roussel, Leivo tally two apiece for Vancouver

‘Norovirus-like’ outbreak interrupts Bantam hockey showcase in Greater Victoria

Several athletes were sent home, quarantined on the ferry

Strong turnout of volunteers to search for missing senior

Ted Vanderveen disappeared in rural Maple Ridge on Nov. 28

$578: that’s how much your first distracted driving ticket will cost with recent premium hikes

Over 50 per cent of Canadians admitted to using phone while driving last year, according to study

SkyTrain strike to begin Tuesday with ‘full shutdown’, CUPE says

BCRTC president says job action is ‘completely unacceptable’ to use SkyTrain users ‘as leverage’

Most Read