A development permit process that makes North Deltans submit their designs to council for approval could be on the chopping block after a public hearing this December. (Grace Kennedy photo)

A development permit process that makes North Deltans submit their designs to council for approval could be on the chopping block after a public hearing this December. (Grace Kennedy photo)

Design reviews for new North Delta homes could soon be a thing of the past

The development permit process is 14 years old and was never implemented in South Delta

Future homeowners may not have to go through a separate design and character review when building or updating a house in North Delta, after council voted to send the North Delta development permit process to a public hearing.

Since 2004, North Delta residents have had to go through an additional step when building or renovating a single-detached home. In addition to the building permit, which ensures the proposal is following the zoning bylaw, North Deltans also had to apply for a development permit, which regulated the form, character and design of the building.

The development permit specifically looked at the house design, particularly the front and side elevations, roof lines, materials, windows, garages, front entryways, setbacks, massing, landscaping and tree retention.

“This goes back a long way, and there was a period of time when people were starting to try and build bigger houses,” Counc. Bruce McDonald said during council on Monday, Nov. 19. McDonald was on council in 2004, when the permit process was first introduced.

At that time, the permit was created to help maintain the character of the North Delta community by ensuring new builds followed similar design principles to the homes in the surrounding neighbourhood. The development permit process was never put in place in Ladner or Tsawwassen.

“If there’s any benefit to the fact that housing has become so expensive, it’s that builders can’t afford to build ugly houses anymore,” McDonald said. “You can’t put that amount of money into things and not make them attractive.

“And I tell you, the houses that are being built in Ladner and Tsawwassen are every bit as compliant and attractive as anything we’re building in North Delta. So why would you have a different set of rules?”

During the public hearing for the Delta’s new zoning bylaw in January, many residents of North Delta agreed. Although the zoning bylaw doesn’t cover the North Delta development permit process, many residents spoke out against it.

RELATED: North Deltans ‘second-class citizens’ in new zoning bylaw, residents say

“North Deltans are second-class citizens when it comes to developing their homes,” one resident said during the Jan. 30 meeting, noting that North Deltans have to submit paint colours to the planning department to get approval for developments.

“This is 2018,” he said. “Why aren’t you doing this in Ladner? Why aren’t you doing this in Tsawwassen?”

In addition to differences in how North Deltans can develop their homes — North Delta applicants often have to modify their preferred designs based on criteria and staff comments, while South Deltans do not — the development permit process also creates a disparity in how long it takes for building applications to be processed in the different communities.

In Ladner and Tsawwassen, a building permit takes between 10 to 30 days to obtain. In North Delta, the timeline for a development permit and building permit can be up to 120 days. (Some can take even longer.)

The cost is also different in the south and the north, as North Deltans have to pay an additional $810 to apply for a development permit, as well as $310 for each amendment.

Counc. Dylan Kruger, new to Delta council, spoke about the perceived disconnect between the North and the South that he saw during the zoning bylaw hearing.

“It was heartbreaking an disturbing to see a sense of alienation and discrimination from folks in North Delta,” Kruger said at council on Nov. 19.

“We need to be looking at what we can do as a city to make it easier to create more housing options and keep families in our community, and not more challenging.”

During the public meeting on Nov. 19, council gave first reading to a bylaw that would remove North Delta’s development permit process. (This would not apply to the North Delta housing cap, another North Delta-only regulation that was voted in with the zoning bylaw and is under review by the city.)

The bylaw will now go to a public hearing on Dec. 10.



grace.kennedy@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

Through his lens, Doug Cook captured this picture of the Fraser River, Mount Baker, an eagle, and even the Golden Ears Bridge on a sunny fall afternoon. The photo was taken from the wooden walkway leading down to the Pitt Meadows Regional Airport float plane dock. (Contributed photo)
Friends of Semiahmoo Bay to host virtual World Wetland Day event

Webinar event to feature six speakers, to be held Feb. 2

Pindie Dhaliwal, one of the organizers for the Surrey Challo protest for Indian farmers. She says organizers were told by Surrey RCMP that the event was not allowed due to COVID-19. Organizers ended up moving the protest to Strawberry Hill at the last minute. (Photo: Lauren Collins)
Indian farmers rally moves as organizers say Surrey RCMP told them they couldn’t gather

Protest originally planned in Cloverdale, moved to Strawberry Hill

One of the Choices Lottery grand prize packages includes a home located at 16730 19 Ave., Surrey. (Contributed photo)
Two South Surrey homes featured in Choices Lottery

Tickets on sale now for BC Children’s Hospital lottery

Fraser Health has declared a COVID-19 outbreak at a Surrey high-intensity rehabilitation unit, Laurel Place. On Dec. 22, 2020, Fraser Health said four patients and two staff members have tested positive for the virus. (Image: Google Street View)
Fraser Health says COVID-19 outbreak over at Laurel Place in Surrey

Health authority declared outbreak over Jan. 16

(Photo by Kevin Hill)
40 cases linked to Surrey Memorial Hospital COVID-19 outbreak

Fraser Health says two death are associated with the outbreak

A scene from “Canada and the Gulf War: In their own words,” a video by The Memory Project, a program of Historica Canada, is shown in this undated illustration. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO - Historica Canada
New video marks Canada’s contributions to first Gulf War on 30th anniversary

Veterans Affairs Canada says around 4,500 Canadian military personnel served during the war

A 17-year-old snowmobiler used his backcountry survival sense in preparation to spend the night on the mountain near 100 Mile House Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021 after getting lost. (South Cariboo Search and Rescue Facebook photo)
Teen praised for backcountry survival skills after getting lost in B.C.’s Cariboo mountains

“This young man did everything right after things went wrong.”

Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole holds a press conference on Parliament Hill, in Ottawa on December 10, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
No place for ‘far right’ in Conservative Party, Erin O’Toole says

O’Toole condemned the Capitol attack as ‘horrifying’ and sought to distance himself and the Tories from Trumpism

A passer by walks in High Park, in Toronto, Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021. This workweek will kick off with what’s fabled to be the most depressing day of the year, during one of the darkest eras in recent history. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young
‘Blue Monday’ getting you down? Exercise may be the cure, say experts

Many jurisdictions are tightening restrictions to curb soaring COVID-19 case counts

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
COVID-19: Provinces work on revised plans as Pfizer-BioNTech shipments to slow down

Anita Anand said she understands and shares Canadians’ concerns about the drug company’s decision

Tourists take photographs outside the British Columbia Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday August 26, 2011. A coalition of British Columbia tourism industry groups is urging the provincial government to not pursue plans to ban domestic travel to fight the spread of COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. travel ban will harm struggling tourism sector, says industry coalition

B.C. government would have to show evidence a travel ban is necessary

(Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
‘Targeted’ shooting in Coquitlam leaves woman in hospital

The woman suffered non-life threatening injuries in what police believe to be a targeted shooting Saturday morning

sdf
Another Mission student arrested for assault, in 2nd case of in-school violence this week

RCMP notified of local Instagram page with videos (now deleted) showing student assaults, bullying

A unique-looking deer has been visiting a Nanoose Bay property with its mother. (Frieda Van der Ree photo)
A deer with 3 ears? Unique animal routinely visits B.C. property

Experts say interesting look may be result of an injury rather than an odd birth defect

Most Read