Reclassification of Delta agricultural land not needed for A&W drive-through restaurant: Metro Vancouver report

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      Travellers on Highway 99 in Delta may soon have a new location to satisfy their food cravings.

      For now, there’s a Triple O’s at a Chevron gas station near where the highway meets Ladner Trunk Road.

      There’s also a Tim Horton’s at the Esso gas station nearby.

      A third drive-through restaurant, this time an A&W, has been proposed in the area, and the application has been clearing hurdles so far.

      On February 10 this year, the city council of Delta gave third reading to a bylaw to rezone 9568 Burns Drive.

      This will allow the building of an A&W drive-through, and a three-storey self-storage facility with office use.

      The property is part of the Agricultural Land Reserve or ALR.

      Previously used as a nursery, the site’s permitted use is garden shop.

      As a next step, the City of Delta requested Metro Vancouver to change the regional land use designation of the site from agricultural to rural.

      However, this measure is not required, according to a report prepared by staff of the regional government.

      Mark Seinen, a senior planner with Metro Vancouver, explained in his report that although 9568 Burns Drive is currently designated as agricultural land in the Metro 2040 regional plan, the property is “unique in several ways”.

      “It is small (0.63 hectares) and not suitable for agricultural uses,” Seinen wrote.

      Because of its size and tenure, the Agricultural Land Commission has informed the City of Delta that the property is not subject to restrictions on the use of agricultural lands.

      Seinen also noted that the property is bounded by major roadways, namely Highway 99 and Burns Drive.

      Third and in reference to the Chevron and Esso stations that have a Triple O’s and a Tim Horton’s, there are “comparable precedent anomaly sites in the area that have not been deemed inconsistent with Metro 2040”.

      “These parcels are also designated Agricultural in Metro 2040, are within the ALR, and are zoned by the City of Delta’s Zoning Bylaw No.2750, 1977 to allow the existing uses,” Seinen wrote.

      Seinen’s report is included in the agenda Friday (May 29) of the Metro Vancouver board.

      The board will have three choices regarding this matter.

      One is to accept the staff recommendation that the reclassification of the agricultural land to rural is not required.

      A second option is to move ahead with an amendment to Metro 2040, which will take a long process.

      Or third, accept the report for information, and provide staff with an alternative direction.

      “While staff note the risk of encouraging additional development in the vicinity, the proposed land use on this small, isolated subject parcel would not be inconsistent with other nearby, comparable site uses on lands designated Agricultural in Metro 2040 that are also in the ALR, nor inconsistent with the general intent of Metro 2040,” Seinen wrote.