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Delta mall redevelopment opponents give council an earful

The proposed development includes four buildings ranging from six-to-32 storeys in height with a total of 876 residential units
A larger than usual crowd attended council’s meeting this week in North Delta. Some of those in attendance took part in a demonstration along Scott Road last weekend.

It was a heated meeting at Delta council on Monday, Sept. 11 as residents opposed to the proposed redevelopment of the Delta Shoppers Mall made their feelings known loud and clear.

Although the application, which is still in the early stages, was not on council’s agenda, a contingent of around 50 residents showed up at the meeting at the North Delta Centre for the Arts.

Three speakers, during the question-and-answer session, blasted council, saying residents should be heard instead of developers and that public notification and meaningful consultation was lacking.

Making accusations including council having a “total disregard” of community input, one of the speakers said changes in legislation to allow local governments to bypass public hearings, if applications fall within Official Community Plans, was never intended to circumvent legitimate concerns of residents.

The proposed development includes four buildings including two at 32-storeys, with a total of 876 residential units, 113,796-square-feet of office space, 77,263-square-feet of commercial space and 3,340-square-feet of childcare space.

One speaker argued the proposed redevelopment was ‘density on steroids to the extreme’ and that the city should adhere to the recommendations from the Mayor’s Task Force for Scott Road.

According to owner Value Property Group, the “proposed development will bring life to an underutilized retail strip and surface parking lot, transforming it into a compact and mixed-use community with diverse housing, retail and office space next to the new R6 RapidBus.”

The company also says its “proposal will create a new multi-generational and income-diverse community with a mix of senior and rental housing units, including affordable rental units, in addition to market condominiums.”

Meanwhile, on the subject of housing, a recent report to Metro Vancouver’s Regional Planning Committee notes that the regional district recognizes the potential for regional coordination and collaboration to ensure the most effective implementation of new housing initiatives.

Outlining various options, the report notes that the B.C. government identified that all Metro Vancouver member jurisdictions, except for Bowen Island Municipality and Tsawwassen First Nation, as municipalities that may be subject to housing target orders under the Housing Supply Act.

The first cohort of 10 municipalities subject to housing targets were named this summer, including the City of Delta, with more communities expected to be selected in the fall.

The province when it made the announcement said it would work with the municipalities to come up with targets, numbers that have yet to be announced.