The final phases of Ladner's largest unfinished housing development are on the horizon.
Delta council had a workshop this week to learn about proposed revisions for the remaining buildout of Marina Gardens Estates, a plan involving four new neighborhoods totaling 729 housing units.
Located north of River Road, the first phases of Marina Gardens Estates were completed in the late 1980s. Over the years several other residential phases and a golf course have been added.
The 87-hectare (217-acre) site was initially approved for 1,426 homes as well as the golf course, a 220-room hotel, a marina, a neighbourhood pub and limited commercial uses.
To date, eight neighbourhoods have been constructed totaling 619 homes.
Captain's Cove Marina Ltd. and Polygon Homes are now asking for permission to alter the master plan to allow a slight increase in the number of units in the remaining neighborhoods, from 695 to 729, as well as dropping the hotel altogether.
Representatives with the company told council members that one of the significant changes proposed is to construct apartments rather than townhouses in two locations.
The apartments in one of the neighbourhoods would be in three free-standing buildings, while the 88 units for the other neighbourhood would be built over commercial space.
If the proposal is approved and the project is built out, the total number of units in Marina Garden Estates would be 1,348, 78 less than originally permitted.
A second significant change is the deletion of a proposed 1.52-hectare (3.75-acre) park in the northeast corner of the site. The developer proposes to instead build a dedicated waterfront walkway/boardwalk along the north edge of the site along Deas Slough.
Saying he's not surprised the master plan would change over the years, Coun. Scott Hamilton told the Optimist he was initially encouraged by what's been proposed.
"Twenty years ago singefamily homes were considered the norm as they built out, but as we move forward we consider greater density. More people want to live in the region," he said.
"I think this will create some vibrancy along the riverfront there. It continues to respect the natural elements. A lot of people seem to want to live there."
Hamilton said he was also pleased to see that some of the proposed apartments would be rental units, something that's in short supply in South Delta.
Captain's Cove Marina Ltd. teamed up with Polygon Homes as a partner in the last phases of development, capitalizing on its experience with townhouse construction in Metro Vancouver, including the Delsom project in North Delta.
Polygon also constructed the Chesapeake Landing and Woodward's Landing developments, two of the neighbourhoods in Marina Garden Estates.
A formal development application, which would have to go through a public hearing, still has to be submitted. Once the application is made, Delta staff will initiate a public consultation program with the surrounding residents to seek input and comments on the proposed changes.