Residents are now getting a variety of options for the build-out of the largest unfinished housing development in Delta.
Hundreds attended a public information meeting at the Ladner Community Centre Wednesday evening to learn more about a pair of new proposals for Marina Garden Estates, options that offer the same density as an earlier proposal but spread it out in different configurations and layouts.
Captain's Cove Marina and Polygon Homes hosted the latest consultation session to present the new options following public comments on an earlier proposal, which drew a large and negative response, mostly from those already living in Marina Gardens.
Neil Chrystal, president and CEO of Polygon Homes, told the Optimist the previous input from the public played a big role in shaping the new proposals.
The biggest opposition was toward the four-storey apartments, he said.
"What we like about this is it's a passionate community. They care about the neighbourhood in which they live and we care about it too. I think one of the purposes of coming to these public meetings is to get feedback on how to make it better," said Chrystal.
A couple residents at the meeting told the Optimist they still didn't like the overall density, one claiming the new options were simply "a shell game" with the housing types.
Several also commented the new proposal wouldn't alleviate concerns about traffic congestion.
A couple of residents, though, said they would like to see additional townhomes built in Ladner to accommodate young families and downsizers.
Located off Ferry Road on the banks of the Fraser River, the first phases of Marina Gardens were completed over two decades ago. Over the years several residential phases and a golf course were added. The 87-hectare (217-acre) site had originally been approved for 1,426 homes as well as a golf course, a 220-room hotel, a marina, a neighbourhood pub and limited commercial uses.
To date, 619 houses have been constructed, fewer than what had originally been planned.
The applicants proposed altering the already approved master plan for the final build-out, including dropping the hotel altogether.
Their revised plan would have added only 65 single-family or duplex dwellings. The remaining 672 units would have either been in one of four five-storey apartment buildings (360) or three-and-a-half-storey townhouses (312).
Many residents, however, were upset with the increased density that proposal would have brought to the area, as well as the number of parking stalls proposed next to existing neighbourhoods and the increase in traffic.
The original proposal, which had been submitted to the municipality as a formal application, is still on the books as an option. However, the two new options were presented at Wednesday's meeting where Polygon representatives were on hand to explain.
One of the options would see the proposed 360 apartment units remain but be relocated closer to the waterfront. Also, more of the density would be shifted to the east side of the development.
The second alternative drops the single-family houses but would "equalize" the density by spreading it over the entire site. The number of condos, which would also relocate to the waterfront, would drop from 360 to 188, while the rest of the new housing would be townhouses.
The original proposal included rental apartments but that has been scrapped.
The total number of housing units, regardless of form, is 737 in all three proposals. The total number of homes once the final build-out is completed would also be smaller than the original master plan.
A meeting was scheduled for Thursday at the Ladner Community Centre, where representatives from a number of Delta council committees were to discuss the proposal and pose questions to the applicant.
Marcy Sangret, Delta's deputy director of community planning and development, said
feedback will be gathered and planning staff will analyze the proposal. She said there's no timeline on when a report will come to council.
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