February 16th – Re-zoning Proposal Update

At the regular Council meeting on Monday, February 6th, 2017, the Delta Planning Department put forth a motion to Mayor and Council to close the Sunshine Village petition/re-zoning application as the 75% signature threshold was no longer met.

The original 90% support for the petition was reduced by a group of residents with concerns over specific details of the proposal.  They approached homeowners and were able to encourage some to retract their signatures.

In particular, the issue of setbacks potentially creating non-conforming properties was highlighted as a concern that needed clarification. Unfortunately, no clarification was provided by Delta’s Planning Department.  In order to reduce confusion and continue the application process, we revised and clarified our position.  This amendment included the removal of setback restrictions.  (See page 39 here)

It was not our intention to push forward changes that would create non-conformities in existing properties.  Rather, we tried to capture the spirit of what the neighbourhood is asking for and make a proposal that Delta Planning could help steer into appropriate standards.  The goal is to address concerns with new construction of mega-homes and the creation of secondary suites.

Unfortunately, we were informed that due to the reduction in homeowner signatures, Delta Planning staff would still put forth the motion to close the petition at the Council meeting.

We issued a formal request to keep the application open.  (See here)

Regrettably, Planning’s motion was carried and the application was closed.  (Watch the meeting video here starting at time 1:37:49)

Council did acknowledge that there was significant confusion about the effect of applying the recommendations as standards.  Mayor Jackson requested that a study be done on the existing “down-zoned” areas in North Delta “including assessed values compared with adjacent areas and also to determine the satisfaction by the residents with the results of the rezoning.”  (See the meeting minutes here)

Over 90% of Sunshine Village residents endorsed the original re-zoning petition.  Despite all of the confusion and misinformation, 63% of homeowners still remain in favour of the original proposal as written.

Homeowners have been given confusing and misleading information about how the proposal would affect:

  • New construction vs. existing dwellings.
  • Property setbacks and the alleged creation of non-conforming properties.
  • Ability to re-finance and obtain home insurance.
  • Re-modelling or renovating existing homes.
  • Property values and the ability to re-sell.

It is unfortunate that the concern of creating non-conforming properties was not raised much sooner and approached in a collaborative manner so that the original petition could be amended.

We strongly encourage all Sunshine Village resident homeowners to seek out their own factual and unbiased information on:

  • Property and re-sale values in a “down-zoned” area.
  • Secondary suites and their effect on traffic and parking congestion.
  • The effect of mega-homes creating “tear-downs in waiting” – reducing nearby properties to lot value.
  • Green space and the important of rain water absorption on the property.
  • The negative effects large footprint homes have on existing storm sewers (run-off coefficient) and sanitary sewers (due to population density).

The other group has declared in print “we don’t want Mega houses either” and “There’s room for more discussion and perhaps some compromise on both sides”.  However, we have not seen any recommendations, revisions, or an alternate proposal coming from that group.  

We are encouraged by the awareness, exposure and conversation that has been sparked in our community of Sunshine Village.

Sunshine Hills have also started their own “no mega-homes” campaign called “Save Our Single Family Neighbourhood” www.saveoursfn.ca.

We ask that all Sunshine Village homeowners join us in the next phase of our re-zoning effort.  

Get involved by:

  • Talking with your neighbours and keeping the “no mega-homes” conversation going.
  • Using this website to contact us to ask questions, make suggestions, and join our mailing list for the latest updates and information.