Evergreen Lane apartment project gets positive reviews

Evergreen Lane in Ladner could be the future site of a new non-market seniors and family housing development.

On Monday, Delta council approved the receipt of preliminary information regarding a new application for the project to be located at 4603, 4625 and 4649 Evergreen Lane.

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Council has directed staff to advance the application to the public consultation and detailed review stage.

According to a Delta staff report, the applicant, Affordable Housing Societies, has been in operation since 1982 as an owner and manager of rental housing for low and moderate income families, seniors, singles and couples. They represent the largest, private non-profit housing society in Canada providing a range of housing options for residents within Metro Vancouver. The past two years they have been working to develop a plan for the redevelopment on its properties on Evergreen Lane. Funding for the project has been secured through BC Housing’s Community Housing Fund.

Prior to making a formal application, Affordable Housing Societies and their consultant engaged in a pre-application review with Delta to refine aspects of the proposal.

Consultation has also started with the residents of the existing buildings to introduce the proposal, the development timelines and future tenant relocation plans. A relocation plan has also been submitted to Delta for review as part of their application.

The development is a two-phased project with 198-units for seniors and family housing.

Phase one includes 130 seniors housing units in a four-storey apartment, while phase two includes 68 family housing units in a 48-unit, four storey apartment building and a 20-unit, three-storey townhouse building.

Affordable Housing Societies are also consulting with the Delta Housing Be Mine Society and would be able to allocate between five and 10 units for persons with intellectual disabilities if there is interest.

Now that council has advanced the application, complete details of the proposal, including site layout, building and landscape design, neighbourhood context, affordability framework and project phasing will be provided in further reports.

In terms of community consultation, staff will be placing a sign on the property, notifying surrounding property owners, creating a project website, using social media, consulting external agencies and internal city departments, holding a public information meeting (or suitable alternative due to the COVID-19 pandemic) and holding a public hearing.

“In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is recognized that public information meetings would only be held in the future, once authorized by council in response to updated orders from the Provincial Health Officer and consideration of alternative options to gather public feedback,” said the staff report. “At this time, staff would work with applicants on initial application review steps, including file circulation, notifications and review tasks. Staff are actively developing a strategy for public engagement that would include engagement by virtual means.”

Council was in full support of the project, with Coun. Jeannie Kanakos going so far as to ask if the project could be fast-tracked.

“I totally support this initiative. Is there any way we can fast forward this? It is an important initiative for non-market apartment buildings. The community is in need and I’m just wondering what steps we can take to ensure it moves through our process quickly,” said Kanakos.

Mayor George Harvie added that a recent council workshop with the applicant was very well received.

“It is going to be a tremendous asset and much needed for the community in Ladner,” he said.

City manager Sean McGill said staff will continue to work with the applicant and prioritize the application to move it forward as quickly as possible.

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