A tired-looking area of the city could see a dramatic transformation into a showcase gateway.
That’s what city council is hoping for, last week getting an update from planning staff on the visioning work underway for the Townline Node.
Currently dominated by older commercial buildings fronted by parking lots, it’s located in the northeast corner of North Delta near the intersection of Scott Road and 96th Avenue.
Often referred to as “the triangle”, the area is bounded by the City of Surrey to the north and east, the railway line to the west and 92nd Avenue to the south.
The long-term plan is to encourage redevelopment, changing it from industrial and service uses to a residential neighbourhood with mixed-use buildings along Scott Road.
It’s anticipated that the plan will accommodate up to 2,200 new residential units with a range of heights, but predominantly six storeys with a few high-rises.
A consultant looked at the type of new buildings that developers would consider financially viable, while a traffic analysis was also undertaken.
Other ideas include a centralized park, possibly along 94th or 95th avenues, and a north-south greenway along 119th Street.
The consultant’s report notes that development interest in Townline has been historically low, even though the area has been designated as a special development area where redevelopment and revitalization are encouraged.
“One of our objectives was to make sure that the plan was not so rigid that it could not speak to or respond to development opportunities that may arise that we don’t anticipate. We have consulted with the landowners and developers, and not everybody is ready to develop at this time, but we are encouraging people to learn about the process, to look at opportunities to consolidate properties with others. As applications come forward we will look at them, and we’re not married to any particular plan,” said planning director Marcy Sangret.
“One of the objectives of this exercise was to provide some level of certainty as well for the landowners and developers as to what council might be willing to entertain in this node. So, this will provide us with good guidance while still allowing for a little bit of flexibility in this plan as this neighbourhood evolves over a number of years.”
Following further consultation, the neighbourhood plan would be refined and a final report provided to council.
Official Community Plan amendments would await results of the recommendations of the Mayor's Housing Task Force for Scott Road.
Meanwhile, an application for another high-rise in North Delta that would be built in the Townline area has been put on hold by the applicant until the new neighbourhood plan is completed.
Maple Leaf Homes had applied to build a 32-storey tower in the 9500-block of Scott Road.