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Delta industrial application waiting six years for provincial approval, complains mayor

MK Delta Lands says the site is ideally located for logistics and distribution centres
Mayor George Harvie says the application had been waiting for a decision on provincial approval for six years and the city would like an update. Delta Optimist file

A major industrial development, that received preliminary council approval years ago, is still waiting for the provincial government’s go-ahead.

Council, at their June 3 meeting. agreed to put forward a request at September's Union of BC Municipalities convention for a meeting with provincial ministers and officials to get an update on the MK Delta Lands development.

Mayor George Harvie said the city would like to know when provincial approvals would be coming to finalize the development application, which would create more industrial land in Delta and improve employment opportunities as well as the tax base.

Having received other needed approvals before going to the provincial government six years ago, the plan would also add land to the Burns Bog Conservation area, Harvie noted.

The proposed MK Delta Lands development west of Highway 91, near Nordel Way and the South Fraser Perimeter Road, includes 2.2 million square feet of industrial space.

Council granted conditional approval following a public hearing in the summer of 2016, but final approval was contingent on a number of conditions being met.

The plan includes the transfer of all of MK Delta’s other land holdings, which total 132.7 hectares (328 acres), to the City of Delta for conservation, including land east of Highway 91 where the company had originally sought to build housing.

The company, among other things, also committed $6 million for agricultural drainage and irrigation improvements.

The project received Agricultural Land Commission approval in 2017.

In 2019, Metro Vancouver’s board of directors gave preliminary approval of a land use designation change from agricultural to industrial and referred the proposal to municipalities for comment.

Richmond as well as White Rock chose to formerly vote in opposition to the City of Delta’s proposed amendment to the regional growth strategy.

Metro’s board later that year would go on to approve the application.

A report to the Metro board noted the addition of the MK Delta property to the regional industrial lands inventory would provide an additional 43.8 hectares (108.2 acres) of industrial land “which would be of local and regional benefit from an industrial-activity, goods movement, and employment generating perspective.”