North Delta Inn demolished – By Ray Hudson


main-northdelta-innOn Christmas Eve, demolition of the North Delta Inn, which started life as the Scottsdale Inn in 1971, brought the forty-five year old structure to a large pile of debris in just a few hours.

The building had been in decline for over a decade. During that time the owners sought to redevelop the property with residential towers and stores, which had not been approved by Delta Council. During this period the hotel became a shadow of the hotel it was intended to be when the Scottsdale Inn was first built as the second phase of the ambitious Scottsdale Town Centre development in 1971.

In July 2015, North Delta’s only hotel was closed, and the residents evicted, when a fire inspection deemed it a fire risk. Reports said inspectors found a long list of fire code violations, ranging from poor lighting to blocked emergency exits. The hazards were reported to such that the building was not habitable and the property owner was required to have security guards on the unoccupied site 24-hours a day in case of an emergency.

“It was a Christmas present for the Mayor, council and the good neighbours who live around that area,” said George Harvie, the Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) for Delta. “It’s been a struggle for us, over the last ten years, to get the owner to work on developing the property. We had an illegal occupancy with regards to individuals that were just released from the courts. It was an illegal halfway house and we didn’t want to see a proliferation of halfway houses along Scott Road.”

“Recently, the owner wanted to relocate the liquor store from the hotel to a building on an adjacent property that he owns,” said Harvie, “We gave him a three-year temporary-use permit on the condition that he had to have that building down by the end of this year. Also, before that permission was given I made sure, through our building and bylaw officers, that the owner had to have a pest control company ensure it was rodent-free. The last thing we wanted to do was take that old building down and have a proliferation of rats and mice going into the nearby residential community.”

Asked what was now planned for the property, Harvie said this was being driven by the owner who will need to make an application to council for any new development.

The principle owner, Ron Dhanda, was not available for comment, but messages have been left and we hope to speak with him when he is available.

“We said we’d support a plan,” said Harvie, “if it was in the economic incentive zone for Scott Road. We were very successful with The Rise (at 80th & Scott Rd).  They received over $2 million in incentives, which were gained by delaying taxes and DCCs (Development Cost Charges). So this spring, Delta will end up with a building, on a property which previously was paying about thirty-thousand dollars in taxes, to one that will be paying about three-hundred thousand dollars. And we will get that return very quickly.”

Harvie said the owner had been made well aware that the city was interested in having another high-rise in that location, and has offered the same incentives on this property, “but the owner has chosen, so far, not to take advantage of them.”

“Again,” said Harvie, “he didn’t follow directions that staff and council gave him insofar as what Delta felt would be acceptable under a public hearing.”

Also happening along the Scott Road Corridor:  

George Harvie, Delta CAO.
George Harvie, Delta CAO.

In other developments, the city was working on an application from a very solid company and individual who is a North Delta resident, for a high-rise development on the northwest corner of Scott Road and 75A Street.
“We’re optimistic that we’ll be putting a report to council early in the Spring of 2018 for that proposal to go through the public hearing process,” said Harvie. “That’s going to be a really good improvement for the corridor.”

Asked about any other good news for the residents of North Delta in the New Year, Harvie said that North Delta is continually being improved.

“You look at the assessments, our neighbourhood Road Improvement Program where we replace infrastructure and include bike lanes, where we can add sidewalks and curbs, has really lifted up the appearance of the community. I hear that feedback from a number of individuals.
We have parking problems which we are addressing through a new zoning bylaw going through for public consultation in the spring. Right now we have a policy supported by council that if you want to put a suite in a new building, the width has to be approximately fifty feet, which is to provide off-street parking. Over the Christmas holidays I talked with a young couple who both work shifts. The young lady is a nurse and she really appreciates being able to drive right up to her house when she’s coming off shift at night. It’s important that we ensure that parking isn’t taking up the whole street.”