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Delta councillor says proposed development contributes to sprawl

Currently vacant, the development site was occupied by a gas station for many years.
proposed shato holdings development fronting delta casino
Private road access to the site would be off 60 Avenue, which would also provide access to the Gateway Casinos development.

Delta council has granted preliminary approval for a development application by Shato Holdings for a residential complex fronting the new Delta casino/hotel complex.

The application will now go to a public hearing that is yet to be scheduled.

Located near the interchange of Highways 99 and 17A, the 153-unit development would have 138 condos and 15 townhouses.

The application also includes a proposed subdivision that would subdivide off a portion of the Gateway Casinos site and combine it with the property.

The proposed development would have a one-storey above-ground parking structure that supports a central common open space surrounded by two condo buildings with five levels of residential units, a row of 15 two-storey townhomes and a one-storey amenity building.

Also proposed is an affordable home ownership program whereby the owner would loan five percent of the market value of a unit for 10 per cent of the saleable condos in each phase. It would apply to 15 condos total.

A report to council notes that, from a broad planning perspective, the project could be viewed as one that will contribute to urban sprawl, bringing a multi-unit residential use to lands outside of a core urban area.

“While there is some precedent for residential uses on the north side of Highway 99, outside of the riverfront properties, residential uses are limited to dwellings on agricultural lots. The Official Community Plan encourages housing density to be located near transportation, jobs and amenities to promote ‘complete communities’, being those which lessen personal reliance on the private automobile,” the report notes.

“While the development site is located near major transportation corridors (i.e., highways 17 A and 99), the current transit service serving the site is limited and there are few amenities within walking distance of the project. The owner has recognized the locational concerns regarding the proposed development and has incorporated certain amenities into the development design in attempt to partly reduce automobile reliance.”

While the location is not consistent with several OCP policies, the project would be consistent with the OCP’s goal of providing housing that meets the needs of residents of different income levels, the report also notes.

Coun. Dan Copeland was the only member of council to vote in opposition, saying the development does nothing to reduce reliance on automobiles while contributing to sprawl. 

He also said he believes the proposal falls short when it comes to offering more affordable housing, while a casino would be imposed on the new residents.

Describing the proposal as an attractive and important development, Coun. Bruce McDonald said the casino wouldn’t be imposed on anyone as whoever buys a new housing unit would be fully aware of the site and what they’re buying into.