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Growth to come in North Delta

Bulk of projected population increase over next 30 years to be accommodated along scott road corridor

Delta's population is expected to grow by over 20,000 in the next 30 years, but most of that will be focused in North Delta.

Delta council gave preliminary approval last week to a new regional context statement for the Official Community Plan in order to line up Delta's plan with Metro Vancouver's Regional Growth Strategy.

The OCP was already largely consistent with region's growth plan, which predicts Metro Vancouver will grow by 1.2 million by 2041 to a total of 3.4 million. A additional 575,000 housing units will be required by that time.

The Regional Growth Strategy projects Delta's population, currently just over 100,000, to gradually climb to 109,999 by 2021, then to 123,000 by 2041. Those figures would meet Delta's share of the region's population growth.

The majority of the growth here is expected to occur in North Delta, specifically the Scott Road corridor, which has been identified as a potential frequent transit development area.

The municipality is currently undertaking a review of the North Delta Area Plan, including looking for ways to revitalize Scott Road to encourage growth.

Even before a revised area plan is approved, council began moving in that direction a few months ago by approving a 37-storey high-rise at 80th Avenue and Scott Road. The new

structure will dwarf two 14-storey buildings in North Delta, which currently have the distinction as Delta's tallest.

Council has also adopted a bylaw to provide municipal property tax exemptions in what's called the 72nd Avenue Economic Investment Incentive Zone to encourage investment in high density residential projects.

Noting the Scott Road corridor is being eyed for most of Delta's new higher density housing stock, Coun. Bruce McDonald told the Optimist there's currently little available land in South Delta for anything other than infill.

"It's pretty much infill because we're not going to go on ALR land, that's not going to happen. We approved the 37-storey high-rise along Scott Road and if that's successful, we expect other applications there," he said.

South Delta will get additional residents with the Marina Garden Estates build-out, but, unless the Century Group's development application for the Southlands is approved, most of the new high density housing will come in small increments in projects such as 15 townhouses adjacent to the Ladner United Church, which received preliminary approval last week, and eight townhouses on Trenant Street in Ladner Village, which was also recently approved.

The regional context statement will go to a public hearing before going back to council for final approval.