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)

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

Just Posted

Laura Barnes is to feature some of her artwork at Gallery at Central Plaza next month. (Contributed photo)
New artist showcase coming to White Rock gallery

Laura Barnes work, mixing brights and darks, to be displayed in February

Surrey Community Cat Foundation received funding to assist with medical procedures. (File photo)
SurreyCats receives grant to assist with spay/neuter costs

PetSmart Charities of Canada donates $5,000

White Rock Public Library (File photo)
Surrey, White Rock literacy leaders kick off Family Literacy Week

Literacy events to take place Jan. 24 to 31

Beds are set up at the emergency response centre at the North Surrey Recreation Centre. (Contributed file photo)
26 people test positive for COVID-19 at Surrey emergency shelter

Centre located at North Surrey Recreation Centre

Surrey firefighters respond to a townhouse fire Sunday morning. (Shane MacKichan photos)
Firefighters respond to townhouse fire in Surrey

Fire ‘knocked down quickly’: witness

Terrance Josephson of the Princeton Posse, at left, and Tyson Conroy of the Summerland Steam clash during a Junior B hockey game at the Summerland Arena in the early spring of 2020. (John Arendt - Summerland Review)
QUIZ: How much do you know about hockey?

Test your knowledge of Canada’s national winter sport

A woman injects herself with crack cocaine at a supervised consumption site Friday, Jan. 22, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Drug users at greater risk of dying as services scale back in second wave of COVID-19

It pins the blame largely on a lack of supports, a corrupted drug supply

Wet’suwet’en supporters and Coastal GasLink opponents continue to protest outside the B.C. Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Thursday, February 27, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
‘We’re still in it’: Wet’suwet’en push forward on rights recognition

The 670-km Coastal GasLink pipeline was approved by B.C. and 20 elected First Nations councils on its path

Jennifer Cochrane, a Public Health Nurse with Prairie Mountain Health in Virden, administers the COVID-19 vaccine to Robert Farquhar with Westman Regional Laboratory, during the first day of immunizations at the Brandon COVID-19 vaccination supersite in Brandon, Man., on Monday, January 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Tim Smith - POOL
Top doctor urges Canadians to keep up with COVID measures, even as vaccines roll out

More than 776,606 vaccines have been administered so far

From the left: Midway RCMP Csts. Jonathan Stermscheg and Chris Hansen, Public Servant Leanne Mclaren and Cpl. Phil Peters. Pictured in the front are Mclaren’s dog, Lincoln and Peters’ dog, Angel. Photo courtesy of BC RCMP
B.C. Mounties commended for bringing firewood to elderly woman

Cpl. Phil Peters said he and detachment members acted after the woman’s husband went to hospital

Dr. Jerome Leis and Dr. Lynfa Stroud are pictured at Sunnybrook Hospital in Toronto on Thursday, January 21, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
‘It wasn’t called COVID at the time:’ One year since Canada’s first COVID-19 case

The 56-year-old man was admitted to Toronto’s Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre

An Uber driver’s vehicle is seen after the company launched service, in Vancouver, Friday, Jan. 24, 2020. Several taxi companies have lost a court bid to run Uber and Lyft off the road in British Columbia. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Taxi companies lose court bid to quash Uber, Lyft approvals in British Columbia

Uber said in a statement that the ruling of the justice is clear and speaks for itself

sd
VIDEO: Mission drag racer scores 1st career win, sets world record, makes history in 2020

Justin Bond, founder and owner of JBS Equipment Mission, has break-out year

Most Read