The proposed 35-storey highrise at 75A Avenue and Scott Road as seen from the south-east. Council denied the project application on Monday, Dec. 2. (Hari Homes Inc./Barnett Dembek Architects Inc. photo)

LETTER: Delta highrises shouldn’t infringe on people’s right to sunshine

Resident Ed Turner’s rebuttal of Coun. Dylan Kruger’s column about adding density along Scott Road

RE: “Scott Road density will help livability and affordability” by Dylan Kruger (NDR Vol. 4 No. 51, Thursday, Dec. 12, 2019)

I’d first like to thank Mr. Kruger for his service to this community as a Delta councillor. In these times a politician’s life is not as easy as it once was.

I did not go to the meeting regarding the highrise development on 75A Avenue and Scott Road because I’ve become cynical that councils are going to do what they want and any public input is a waste of time. In this instance, I was obviously wrong. Council listened to the people who live in the area. And at this time they were correct. This development was indeed the right project in the wrong location.

I agree that density is important if we are to reduce our carbon footprints. However, the way density develops over time (i.e. decades) is just as important as density itself. In Japan, they have something known as “nisshoken,” which means people have the right to sunlight. Highrises take sunlight away. Putting a highrise at 75A and Scott Road would block out a lot of sunlight for many who live in that area. In the winter months it would eliminate any possibility of seeing any sun since the sun rises and falls in the south at that time of the year.

So it is important to put those highrises next to areas where shade will not have as much impact to the surrounding area (i.e. next to other highrises or commercial areas). Take a look at the new highrise called “The Rise” at 80th Avenue and Scott Road. The shade it creates does not affect any residential areas. I actually find it amusing that Mayor Harvie voted in favour of this development but voted against a bridge replacement for the George Massey tunnel because, as he said, “people of Ladner would have to live in the shadows of a bridge.” Those shadows would be minor compared to this development.

Mr. Kruger also mentioned allowing some to buy the units and rent them out. I question the intelligence of allowing some to buy into the building as an investment and rent out their condo increasing the rental market. I personally would not want to invest my hard-earned dollars and live in a condo where rentals are allowed. One assumes that an owner who lives in the tower makes a better neighbour than some of those who rent. Besides, allowing investors who do not live in the building drives up the price of the units, and since affordability of ownership is a major issue, why do we allow it?

In short, I agree with the idea of density development and with the many arguments that Mr. Kruger makes. But now is not the right time to put a 35-storey highrise at 75A and Scott Road. And, for the record, I do not live in the shadows of this proposed development but I would be drastically impacted by the increased traffic it would create on 75A Avenue — an avenue that a decade ago was drastically changed to calm and reduce traffic, an avenue that isn’t designed to be the major thoroughfare it would become if this development went through.

Ed Turner, North Delta

RELATED: Council denies 35-storey North Delta highrise proposal

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