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Even more to be allowed in Delta subdivisions

Public hearings are not permitted for zoning amendments that are consistent with the OCP
Planning staff note the reduced width for the Tsawwassen application would allow for a new lot that is consistent with the proposed zone and would result in an incremental increase in density. Eleven trees would be removed. City of Delta report

Delta council last week gave preliminary approval for another pair of subdivision applications which won't go to a public hearing even if council wanted to do so.

The first was a rezoning application for a three-lot subdivision in the 6000-block of 44A Avenue in Ladner, which will see a 18,579-square-foot lot split into three.

An existing single-detached dwelling, which would be retained on one of the lots, while a new house with a secondary suite, would be constructed on the other two.

The planning department notes that the Official Community Plan (OCP) designation for the site is Single Family Residential (SFR). The designation is intended for single-family housing at a certain density.

The proposed subdivision is consistent with that SFR designation.

Mayor George Harvie pointed out that since the application is consistent with the current OCP, not only is a public hearing not required but the city is barred from choosing to hold one under new provincial housing legislation.

The planning department also notes that while most homes in the designation are on lots 5,920-square-feet or larger, there are provisions for small lots, clustered detached housing and duplex homes, especially in new planned areas and larger infill sites.

It’s the same story for the other subdivision approved by council, a rezoning and development variance permit for two-lot spilt in the 5100-block of 1 Avenue in Tsawwassen. An existing housing on one lot would be remain while a new house would be constructed on the new lot. The current total lot size is 17,377-square-feet.

Meanwhile, the city’s planning department is about to launch its public consultation process for a proposed major OCP amendment, which will pave the way for even more housing units allowed on single-family lots. That would also mean no public hearings for those applications as well.

“Staff note that based on the recent provincial announcements, municipalities across British Columbia will be required to amend their zoning bylaws to permit small-scale multi-unit housing on all single-detached residential lots. Once the zoning bylaw is updated, it is possible that the owner could consider additional units on each of the proposed lots without further Council consideration,” a planning department report on the Tsawwassen subdivision states.

According to the Ministry of Housing, in most areas within municipalities of more than 5,000 people, new legislation will require bylaws to allow for three-to-four units on lots currently zoned for single-family or duplex use, depending on lot size.

Six units will be permitted on larger lots currently zoned for single-family or duplex use and close to transit stops with frequent service.

Municipalities covered by the legislation may permit additional density, if desired, but cannot have bylaws that allow for fewer permitted units than the provincial legislation.

The Housing Statutes - Residential Development Amendment Act (Bill 44), will require cities to update their zoning bylaws by June 30.