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Delta residents weigh in on proposed zoning bylaw

Changes to rules governing secondary suites and parking have some readers fired up

Our readers had quite a bit to say about the proposed changes to Delta’s zoning bylaw. Here are a few of the emails and social media comments we’ve received so far…

READ MORE: North Deltans ‘second-class citizens’ in new zoning bylaw, residents say

Having lived in North Delta for 30 years, I definitely do not feel that this segment of Delta is being discriminated against with the proposed new housing bylaw.

I find the bylaw equitable and reasonable for all the present and future citizens of this community.

Neighbours on both sides of our home have suites. The homeowners of the homes with suites respect their neighbours and are open to dialogue if issues do arise, which is rare.

Our street is also multi ethnic, all are welcome.

Karen Armitage (via email)

I attended the public hearing on Jan. 30 [and] was impressed by the public turnout but dismayed by the animosity shown by many North Delta residents towards the proposed new zoning by-laws. A few comments:

It was pretty clear to me from the presentations that there are two camps in North Delta when it comes to the proposed changes: those who live to the north of 72nd Avenue and those to the south.

The residents to the north quite obviously want densification through sub-division and suites so as to make housing more affordable, keep extended families together and to maximize the value of their real estate.

To the south (as previously demonstrated by last year’s “Save Sunshine Village” campaign), the large majority of residents want to preserve the aesthetics, natural values and “look and feel” of the neighbourhood which attracted them to live here in the first place.

I note that to the north the subdivision has, more or less, a grid layout with rectangular lots, while to the south are more curving roads, cul-de-sacs, topography and irregular-shaped lots. The proposed changes to suite requirements and minimum frontages, driveways, setbacks, etc., will have very different effects and impacts on the two areas.

I know that last year’s Save Sunshine Village petition — which endorsed a cap on house size, greenspace preservation and limits on suite development — had some technical difficulties but was overwhelmingly endorsed “in principle” by those residents.

I was dismayed by certain comments at the hearing made by opposors from the north who said that, by being property owners and taxpayers, they should be free to “do what they like.” They forget that they live in a neighbourhood and the neighbours have rights as well.

Others claimed to have moved to Delta because they liked the look and feel of the neighbourhood, yet they want to undermine that look and feel with subdivision, mega-homes and densification.

All this I think begs the question of how reasonable is the one-size-fits-all approach that council is taking with rewriting the zoning bylaws. I hope that the changes, as proposed, will ultimately be adopted in spite of the noisy few in North Delta.

If not, I hope that some attention be paid to adapting those bylaws to suit and reflect the interests of the majority who live within the various areas of North Delta.

Ian Morrison (via email)

RELATED: Delta zoning bylaw could see changes following council discussion

The only issue I have with secondary suites is parking. I don’t care about lot size, if tenants park beside the house or in front of it, as long as it isn’t all over the street. Our cul-de-sac has become an eye sore and a safety issue with all the cars parked on the road.

Because of the pie shape of the new lots, there is no room for tenants to park in the yard or even on the street in front of the house they live in so they park in front of everyone else’s homes. They don’t pay my mortgage so why should I have to deal with their cars?

The tenants benefit the owners of the homes they live in. If you want to have a suite in your home, great, go ahead, but it’s up to you to deal with the parking issue, not your neighbours.

Yes, I realize I don’t own the road and I have no issue when neighbours have company and they need to park in front of my house for a few hours. But when I have company and they have to park a block away even though I can fit three vehicles in front of my house, I have an issue.

Why should the enjoyment of my home and property be diminished because some of my neighbours have tenants helping them pay their mortgage and taxes?

It’s your home, do what you want with it, but have some consideration for your neighbours. Then we wouldn’t need all these bylaws.

Tracey Zant-Kutny (via Facebook)

North Delta has always been treated as second class citizens. I have lived here 30 years and we never got our ditches filled in, [we were the] last to get a police station, rec centre, and on and on. It’s always been Ladner and Tsawwassen first, it sucks.

Jan Haig (via Facebook)

(EDITOR’S NOTE: the following has been edited for clarity)

My question [is] how anybody could think this has anything to do with an affordability issue? How does it work if I sell somebody a $900,000 home and a developer takes it, subdivides it and builds two properties, and then tries to sells them for $1.4 or $1.5 million? How does that help anybody? How did it help affordability?

Developers makes around half [a] million [dollars] in a single deal. How [is] it possible to live in North Delta [as] teachers, firefighters, police [officers], nurses and hard working industrial trade workers? It is impossible to live in North Delta.

We have to stand against these people. They [have] nothing to do with [the] North Delta community, only [making] millions [of] dollars.

People are being misled about these bylaws … and it’s all for money.

Look at problems in Clayton Heights in Surrey: narrows streets, parking problems, over-crowded classrooms, more students in portable cabins, over-crowded recreation centres, over crowded hospitals and more crimes on [the] streets.

Please save [the] North Delta community.

Pritpal Singh Sekhon (via Facebook)

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