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

Outdoor AED unit in Surrey among the first in B.C.

SaveStation cabinet is alarmed and monitored – and hasn’t been used yet

Trade sends Surrey NHLer Brenden Dillon to Washington

‘We felt it was important for us to add a player of his caliber to our defensive group,’ says Caps GM

Suspect in Surrey forcible confinement arrested in Toronto

Constable Richard Wright, of the Surrey RCMP, said William Daniels-Sey was arrested on Feb. 16

Despite evacuation, coronavirus-quarantined White Rock couple still two weeks from home

Government chartered plane to help cruising Canadians return from Japan

ZYTARUK: Trudeau needs to stop dithering and fix blockade crisis

Trudeau noted Canadians are asking themselves, “What is happening in this country?” He’s got that right

VIDEO: 7 things you need to know about the 2020 B.C. budget

Surplus of $227 million with big spending on infrastructure and capital projects

Coastal GasLink pipeline investor committed to closing deal despite protests

Developer TC Energy Corp. — formerly TransCanada Corp. — is to remain the operator of the $6.6-billion pipeline

New highway proposed between Alberta and B.C.

The route would connect Red Deer to Kamloops

What’s in a name? The story of Revelstoke’s Mt. Begbie

It’s likely the iconic peak had several Indigenous peoples’ names before settlers arrived

Budget 2020: B.C. Liberals blast ‘Netflix tax,’ lack of economic plan

ICBC rates still go up, except in election year, Shirley Bond says

Teen snowmobiler from Kelowna found after air force’s overnight search

The teen had been missing since just after 6 p.m. on Monday

Two law enforcement trucks ‘deliberately’ set on fire in northern B.C., RCMP say

Police say they have video evidence of a person in the area of the truck fires

Nanaimo man wins lotto, plans to buy $16,000 fridge

Curtis Wright a winner in Lotto 6/49 draw

Metro Vancouver wants the region to repurpose, donate, or repair used clothing

Textile mending workshops to be held across the Lower Mainland

Most Read