Delta council shoots down 35-storey residential tower proposal
Contentious development proposal was subject of an extended and sometimes angry public debate
Delta city council has voted down a contentious 35-storey residential highrise development that drew extended and sometimes angry debate at a public hearing last week.
Mayor George Harvie and Councillor Dylan Kruger were the only two council members who voted in favour of the development, with the other five voting against.
Proposed for the corner of 75A Avenue and Scott Road, the proposed project contained 335 housing units with 20 per cent of them designated affordable.
The tower site is currently zoned for medium density residential use and limits structures to six storeys. For the project to go ahead, council would have needed to amend the official community plan and approve the rezoning of the land.
The public hearing for the tower stretched over two days with some arguing for affordability and densification and others concerned about the size of the tower and increased traffic.
"I was very disappointed and discouraged that the public hearing had a sharp divide in bitterness among those attending and speaking," said Harvie. "My team's platform, which was successful [in the last election], was recognizing young families and seniors are leaving Delta, being pushed out by a lack of affordable housing choices."
In the prelude to the council vote, Harvie announced he is launching a mayor's housing action task force set to roll out next year. Harvie said the priority will be reviewing the North Delta area community plan and recommending changes to council, especially around the Scott Road corridor.
Harvie says the community plan, which was approved in 2014, is already out of date.
"Delta's housing needs have drastically changed since then," he said. "My vision is to give assurances to the North Delta residential community that Delta has an updated plan that will not be subject to ongoing significant development applications, and to the development community that much need housing can be built in the Scott Road corridor."