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Transforming Delta's major corridors, neighbourhoods

Bonus density may be included in the changes that would result in more market and below-market rentals
The city’s major corridors could see much more housing allowed than what had been contemplated as possible just a few years ago.

The City of Delta this week will begin its series of online information and feedback sessions and open houses on major city-wide changes proposed for the Official Community Plan (OCP).

The provincial government’s new housing legislation stipulates that cities are required to undertake zoning bylaw amendments to accommodate small-scale housing by June 30, 2024.

Delta last week released draft land use maps ahead of the information sessions, which include strategic growth areas for even higher density across the city, with an emphasis on the North Delta Social Heart, Ladner Village, 56 Street in Tsawwassen and along Scott Road.

The selection of those areas stems from reviews of existing and planned utility and transportation infrastructure, according to the city.

The province last fall gave Delta a housing target, estimating that the city’s total housing need is 4,809 net new units over the next five years. The housing target set for Delta is 3,607 units, representing the number of net new units needed to meet 75 percent of that estimated need.

The figure is the minimum number of net new completed units that are to be constructed in Delta within the next five years, ending Sept. 30, 2028.

A planning department report notes that creating 3,607 net new units over the next five years represents an increase in the rate of growth compared with previous years.

Over the previous five years, building permit activity has generated an average of approximately 400 net new units per year, but the housing target results in a need for over 700 net new units per year, on average, over five years.

As far as the areas targeted for even higher density, currently, in many cases, land use designations are constrained, resulting in challenges with development viability and "spot" applications for OCP amendments.

The report notes town centres and major corridors could also be areas for potential bonus density to create an even greater number of rental and below-market housing types.

The planning department also notes that there is a need for further infrastructure planning and investment, including utilities and services like sanitary sewer, drinking water, transportation, parks, recreation facilities, and amenities.

Ongoing planning efforts could also support pre-zoning to accelerate growth and ensuring that infrastructure is in place in key areas experiencing higher levels of development activity.

The open houses that are scheduled for this week includes sessions on Tuesday, March 6, at the North Delta Recreation Centre, followed by another on Wednesday, March 7 at the South Delta Recreation Centre, both to be held from 6 to 8 p.m. Another will be held on Saturday, March 9 at the Ladner Community Centre, from 10 12 p.m.

For more information check