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Council gives final approval for Dunbar Lumber site redevelopment

The proposal did not require an amendment to the new Official Community Plan for Ladner Village
The planning department notes that the owner has completed all the requirements for final approval. City of Delta report

Delta council on Monday granted final approval for a major redevelopment application in Ladner Village.

The Dunbar Lumber site at the corner of Bridge and Elliott streets will be redeveloped into a six-storey, mixed-use project with 128 residential units. The project includes 15,048-square-feet of commercial area on the ground level and 218 parking spaces accessed from the lane.

Staff noted that the owner has completed all the requirements for final adoption including entering into required covenants and agreements and paying the required deposits and fees.

The only council member to continue to vote in opposition was Alicia Guichon, who had earlier requested a public hearing despite the application not requiring an Official Community Plan (OCP) amendment.

The development drew heated debate in the community with some residents opposed to the height and density, also arguing the development is not in keeping with the heritage and feel of the village. Others in support argued for the need to create more housing options and revitalizing the area that’s seen little change over the years.

When council granted preliminary approval this spring, Mayor George Harvie said the village, with its shabby buildings and lack of people, is in a state of decline.

He also said he has been concerned about the state of the area for more than two decades, going back to his role as city manager.

The earlier final report by the Ladner Village Renewal Advisory Committee had a lengthy series of recommendations including some identified as high priority to encourage a varied range of housing through densification, activating the waterfront for commercial development and public access and supporting business sustainability through increased vibrancy.

As far as when the Dunbar Lumber buildings will face the wrecking ball, the owner has advised that the business has a lease for the site until summer 2024. The city will consider issuing a temporary use permit for the business to continue the operation there for up to one year.