City of Delta trying to get out of 1970s

Another zoning anomaly is to come off the books.

Council on Monday will consider a land use contract discharge and development variance permit for a house in the 7700-block of 115th Street in North Delta, allowing the owner to add secondary suite as well as enclosing the garage to add more floor space.

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All parking spaces for the single-detached dwelling, including the secondary suite parking space, would be located on the existing driveway.

The house is currently under a land use contract which doesn’t permit secondary suites, although it would meet the lot width requirements for a suite under the current zoning.

The owners are proposing to discharge the land use contract, created for the home in 1976, as part the application to bring the property in line with the zoning.

If preliminary approval is granted, a public hearing would be waved.

Over the last several years, the city has been gradually working on eliminating existing residential land use contracts, which are zoning anomalies frozen in time.  


Mostly created in the 1970s, land use contracts were signed at the time of a property's original subdivision and outlined various development guidelines at the time.

Delta no longer uses such contracts, but the current large batch of legally binding agreements are still registered on title.

Delta has been updating its zoning bylaws over the years but those old land use contracts supersede them, regardless of whether the contracts conform to new zoning standards.

There’s well over 3,000 of the old contracts still on file for residential properties.

The contracts vary from neighborhood to neighborhood with some more restrictive than current zoning, while others are far more generous than zoning allows.

Delta council in 2017 decided to take advantage of new provisions under the Local Government Act that allows cities to expire all old contracts by 2024, with an option for even earlier terminations.

Three years ago the city opted for early termination of land use contracts for over 100 industrial and commercial properties, but continue to deal with residential properties on a case-by-case basis.


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