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No, Delta not planning to convert parks to housing

The proposed maps recently mailed out to residents appeared to show parks were being eyed for development
The city notes planning staff intend to give parks and green space a conservation or civic designation to better reflect the current and intended future park uses. derJani/Pixabay

Small city-owned parks and green space in Delta will not be eyed for conversion to residential development.

The City of Delta has notified the public that proposed Official Community Plan (OCP) changes would maintain green space and that recently mailed-out maps on proposed land use designations will be corrected to clarify that fact.

Several residents recently raised concern that the city-wide maps appeared to indicate parks would be revised into residential zones. One of those sites included Imperial Village Park in Tsawwassen, that appeared to have a small-scale residential designation proposed.

Staff noted that site currently has a single-detached residential in the current OCP, but that designation is outdated and does not reflect the existing use of the park.

Due to the current residential designation, the map system automatically translated the properties to the small-scale residential category in the concept map included in the mail-out to residents.

However, the intent is to secure those lands as parks and the designations will be corrected in the final maps. Planning staff are also in the process of reviewing the new OCP designations for all parks in the city to make sure they are appropriately designated.

During a council discussion last year on an application to subdivide a North Delta property into a 16-lot mixed single-detached residential and infill duplex development, Mayor George Harvie noted the city not only needs to ramp up tree planting, but also needs to do more when it comes to purchasing more land for parks, saying Delta has a reserve, but isn’t acting fast enough.

The previous year, former Coun. Lois Jackson asked to get a staff report where, starting in a quadrant of North Delta, the city can can create more passive green spaces for residents, as well as how much funding is available in the city’s parks acquisition reserve.