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Delta paving way for more gentle density

The changes are to allow more flexibility in the types of units developed, align OCP policies with the Delta zoning bylaw and implement key actions from Delta's Housing Action Plan
The planning department notes that council in recent years has approved amendments to the OCP to enable exemptions from UPH limits. The 24-unit Delta Green condo development on 51st Street in Ladner is one example.

Delta council last week gave preliminary approval to amendments to the Official Community Plan (OCP) to pave the way for more gentle density to be added to neighbourhoods.

The recommendations from the planning department were part of the city’s Housing Action Plan, approved in 2021, and include removing a units per hectare (UPH) density measure from Delta's multi-unit and mixed-use land use designations, where floor space ratio (FSR) density maximums already exist.

The changes also include updating the East Ladner and Ladner Area Plans to remove the minimum lot size requirements for infill single-detached subdivisions and removing policies requiring design covenants to be registered for all infill single-detached residential subdivisions in Ladner.

A public hearing is required for the OCP changes.

A staff report notes that among the goals of the Housing Action Plan is to create opportunities for gentle density. While further work is ongoing to evaluate regulations when it comes to secondary suites, backyard suites, duplexes and more, staff propose some policy amendments to the Ladner Area Plan to remove barriers to the creation of infill housing.

The Ladner Area Plan currently contains language that limits singled-detached infill development to properties that meet a minimum frontage area, the report notes, adding that those dimensions do not align well with existing single-detached zones and add unnecessary layers to redevelopment in the lower density areas of Ladner.

Following approval of the Housing Action Plan, council adopted OCP amendments for Ladner Village in 2021. Those amendments used floor space ratio as the measure of density for the village, in keeping with the direction established by the action plan.

If given final approval, the changes are to take effect immediately, while in-stream applications would be reviewed on a case-by-case basis to determine how they may be affected.