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Dunbar Lumber redevelopment decision months away

A motion by city councillor to hold a public hearing on the application was shot down this week
A pair of well-attended information meetings were recently held at the Ladner Community Centre. Delta staff and representatives with project proponent Headwater Projects were on hand to answer questions.

It could be a while before Delta council considers a major redevelopment application for Ladner Village.

City staff provided an update on the proposed re-development plan of the Dunbar Lumber site at Monday’s council meeting, during discussion about a number of pieces of correspondence in the agenda package, as well as a pair of petitions containing more than 200 names in opposition.

Coun. Alicia Guichon brought forward the correspondence for discussion as well as a motion for council to hold a public hearing on the application if the proposal is granted preliminary approval.

Guichon said in light of the feedback received at a pair of public information meetings, including the community being denied an opportunity to speak, a public hearing would be appropriate, adding that she shares a number of concerns that were raised by residents.

“In the past, developers, staff and council have benefited from suggestions made at public hearings, and this council ran on being transparent, open and inclusive. I’m very proud to say that. I just want the community to feel the same way,” she said.

Her motion was not seconded by anyone else on council and thus was not considered.

Coun. Dylan Kruger pointed out that the proposal has also received a lot of positive support and feedback including support from the Housing Be Mine Society, who are in favour of a number of the housing units being designated for people with intellectual disabilities.

Asked for a timeline on when the application could come to the council table, planning director Marcy Sangret told council that the applicant, Headwater Projects, is now reviewing its proposal after having gathered the public's feedback.

She said planning staff will be meeting with the applicant to go over the proposal in the coming weeks, so council won’t be getting a report before that process unfolds, likely not until at least April.

The Dunbar Lumber site at the corner of Bridge and Elliott is proposed to be transformed into a six-storey, mixed-use project. The new development proposal as it stands now is to include a courtyard-style building with commercial space with parking on the ground floor, parking on the second floor and residential on the remaining four levels.

When the application was submitted last year, it required an Official Community Plan (OCP) amendment, however, that is no longer the case as council since then approved major changes to the Ladner Village Area Plan. It means the proposed development would adhere to the revised OCP, so a public hearing would not be required.