Sunbury Neighbourhood Association

Report to council - response to Sunbury Neighbourhood Association





Mayor and Council




Environmental Services Division




September 6, 2005




 Response to Sunbury Neighbourhood Association Presentation


The following report has been reviewed and endorsed by the Chief Administrative Officer.


That this report be received for information.



To provide information relative to a presentation made to Council at the May 30, 2005 Regular Council meeting by the Sunbury Neighbourhood Association (SNA) regarding North Delta transportation issues.


At the May 30, 2005 Regular meeting of Council, the SNA provided a presentation to Council regarding North Delta transportation issues and the proposed South Fraser Perimeter Road (SFPR).  This presentation included information on archaeology, heritage, socio-economic issues, engineering issues, noise, air quality, and habitat.  The SNA's background information to their May 30, 2005 presentation is included as Attachments A and B.  At this meeting, Council requested staff to provide additional information relative to the issues addressed by the SNA and this information is provided in the following. 


 The items below provide additional information from staff with respect to the issues addressed in Attachments A and B prepared by the SNA.

 Socio-Community Issues

Staff's initial comments regarding the consultants' draft report on socio-community impacts of the SFPR were sent to the Gateway Program and the Provincial Environmental Assessment Office (EAO) in July. One of the staff comments is that the study has not adequately investigated the impacts on the Sunbury and Annieville neighbourhoods, particularly the potential for neighbourhood disturbance by traffic filtering through residential streets to access the SFPR if access roads are provided here.

 The Gateway Program staff are now meeting directly with SNA to address their detailed concerns, particularly regarding the possibility of removing planned access roads to the SFPR  in the Sunbury area.  Decisions regarding the route through this area have not yet been made, for example, whether the road would be placed on top of the railway or whether it would be tiered in part. These decisions will have to be made before the proposal is submitted to the EAO as a project for review, which is currently anticipated to occur in December 2005.  Until these decisions have been made, the following preliminary comments are provided with respect to the SNA's concerns about socio-community impacts:


  • Staff agree with the SNA's conclusions that houses overlooking the SFPR and/or hearing noise from the SFPR are likely to suffer loss of property value when construction starts.  The recently released consultants' draft noise report suggests that mitigation measures will be necessary along the whole stretch of the proposed route from the Alex Fraser Bridge to Elevator Road.  More detailed studies need to be done before the effectiveness of the mitigation measures can be assessed. 
  • Along River Road, through Sunbury and Annieville, property values could possibly increase due to less truck traffic on the road, provided that there are no noise and visual impacts from the SFPR.  Less traffic could, in effect, return two village streets to the residents and a program of street beautification could be considered for these stretches of road.
  • Staff are not in a position to comment on the concern by SNA regarding destruction of the only waterfront view property in N. Delta.  Due to the slope of the land and depending on whether the road is one level or tiered, it may be possible for many homes to retain their views over the road to the Fraser River.

  • Staff are also not in a position to determine whether the SFPR would lead to owners being replaced by renters and a “downturn” in North Delta demographics. The studies are proposing measures for mitigation of noise and visual impacts, and these measures need to be assessed in detail before any conclusions can be drawn.
  • With respect to the SNA's proposal to tunnel along and under Nordel Way instead of placing a road along the riverside, this would be a very expensive undertaking.  Gateway estimates it would cost half of their total budget for the SFPR. Huge road improvements would also be necessary to 116 Street or Scott Road to take the traffic emerging from the tunnel back to the riverside and Surrey-Fraser Docks.  This would adversely impact the residential areas in the vicinity of these streets.

Air Quality

The information provided by the SNA with respect to comments made by the Fraser Health Authority (FHA) and the GVRD were made during the initial phase of the pre-application for the environmental assessment of the SFPR.  Since this time the scope of the proposed project increased to include the western section of the road from Nordel Way to Deltaport Way.  The comments received from FHA and GVRD were incorporated into the new work plan for the local air quality study.   The draft Local Air Quality study has just recently been released to the BC Environmental Assessment Office (EAO) Working Group for the environmental assessment of the SFPR.

One concern raised by the SNA was that of the existing local air quality of the area.  In response to this concern Council resolved:

“THAT a letter be prepared for the Mayor's signature to the Greater Vancouver Regional District requesting that their Mobile Air Monitoring Unit (MAMU) be positioned on River Road to provide baseline air quality information for this corridor.”

Attachment C is the June 9, 2005 letter from Mayor Jackson to Chair Marvin Hunt of the GVRD requesting air quality monitoring along the River Road corridor through North Delta.  Attachment D is the July 19, 2005 response from the GVRD to this request advising that prior to committing to conducting air quality testing they would like to review the draft Air Quality Study for the SFPR.     Since this study has just recently been released to the EAO working group, we expect that GVRD will be reviewing this study in the near future and providing further discussion with Delta regarding our request.


The SNA report listed the results of the baseline noise monitoring program done for the draft Noise Impact Assessment for the SFPR.  The baseline monitoring indicated that the community noise levels along the River Road corridor were elevated due to the road and rail traffic as well as industrial noise. 

The draft SFPR Noise Impact Assessment identifies noise increases over the baseline levels by the year 2021 for all of the six North Delta sites monitored for baseline noise if the SFPR is built along the currently proposed alignment.  The Ministry of Transportation (MoT) noise policy for mitigation is triggered by projected increases over the baseline noise ten years after project completion.   The draft report suggests that with the use of open graded asphalt (OGA), also known as “quiet pavement”, and conventional noise mitigation walls in some places, that the noise impacts from the SFPR could be fully mitigated in accordance with MOT policy.   Since the design is preliminary, more work is required to clearly identify the areas of noise mitigation once more detailed road designs are available.

Staff have provided comments on the draft Noise Impact Assessment that includes the statement that OGA should be used in conjunction with conventional noise mitigation measures to meet the objectives of the MOT noise policy, not used alone to ensure consistent mitigation since it does not mitigate engine and braking noise.


The SNA notes the information to be included in the environmental assessment application for the SFPR.  The majority of the public health issues to be investigated are associated with air quality impacts from the construction and operation of the road.  Health Canada and the Fraser Health Authority are represented on the EAO working group for the environmental assessment of the SFPR.

Archaeology and Heritage

 The consultants' draft archaeological report is not yet available.  It will include an analysis of the most appropriate techniques for protecting the archaeological sites along the bank of the Fraser River.  Currently, the findings of this report are being discussed with First Nations, in order to ascertain their wishes in regard to the future of these sites.  Traditionally, the First Nations have not wished to draw attention to these sites by turning them into designated heritage sites.

 The consultants' socio-community study provides some incomplete information regarding the heritage buildings in Delta which are close to the route.  Further information has been provided to the consultants.  As far as staff are aware, three properties on the heritage inventory would be affected – the Glenrose Cannery, and the Johnson and Jensen Houses.  Staff will be recommending that Delta's official response to the EAO should include requests for preservation of these buildings, including removal to another site if necessary.


The SNA presentation highlighted the environmental sensitivity of the North Delta bluffs and ravines and importance of biodiversity.   Concern is expressed regarding the impacts on this habitat from the construction and operation of the SFPR.

The proposed SFPR alignment will include the crossing of several ravines and the clearing of riparian vegetation.  As part of the environmental assessment of the project there is a Wildlife report and a Fisheries and Aquatic Resources report that will quantify the impacts of this proposed route.  This will include an inventory of animal and plant species that may be affected that includes endangered and threatened species.

The SNA referred to this area as having red and blue coded species and habitat under an international colour coding system.   The government of BC has identified species that are designated as red or blue listed which provides a list of species for consideration for more formal designation as Endangered or Threatened, either provincially under the British Columbia Wildlife Act, or nationally by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC).   Under the federal Species at Risk Act (SARA) species are listed that require conservation and recovery plans.  Currently, species listed under SARA are legally protected on Federal lands.   There is no formal provincial or federal designation that specifically protects the North Delta bluffs.

Gateway, as part of the environmental assessment reports being prepared for the SFPR, have been surveying the proposed alignment for provincially and federally listed species.  The identification of listed species, or their habitat, will not necessarily preclude the development of the SFPR provided the appropriate mitigative measures are taken.

The colour coding that the Fraser River Estuary Management Program (FREMP) has assigned the foreshore along North Delta is correctly noted as being red and yellow through this area.    The SFPR will not be subject to a FREMP Environmental Review Committee (ERC) review since it is subject to the provincial and federal environmental assessment processes.  The FREMP review typically provides information back to the proponent and regulatory agencies regarding the projected impacts and proposed mitigation for the project.  FREMP does not issue project approvals.  The environmental agencies represented on the FREMP ERC; Environment Canada (EC), Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO), and Provincial Ministry of Environment, are all represented on the EAO working group for the environmental assessment of the SFPR. DFO and EC approvals will be required in order for the project to proceed.  The FREMP designations along the sections of the SFPR that are in close proximity to the Fraser River will be considered by the federal and provincial agencies during their review of the project.

Monetary compensation for habitat loss is noted in the SNA report.  Monetary compensation is not accepted by DFO for compensation for the harmful alteration, disruption or destruction of fish habitat.  Typically, DFO requires “like-for-like” compensation, so that if riparian vegetation is removed it is replaced in such a way that it can provide a similar function in the area.   The Fisheries and Aquatic Resources report, that has not yet been released, will detail the proposed habitat compensation.   In the workplan that describes the information that will be provided in the Fisheries and Aquatic Resources report, it is stated that it is expected that the objective of  “no-net-loss” of productive aquatic and riparian habitat will be achieved for the SFPR.

Engineering Issues

The Engineering issues identified by the SNA will be addressed in an upcoming Council workshop with the SNA scheduled for October 3, 2005.


This report presents additional information, as requested by Council, with respect to the issues raised recently by the Sunbury Neighbourhood Association concerning the proposed South Fraser Perimeter Road.

Verne Kucy

Manager of Environmental Services

Department submission prepared by: Mike Brotherston, Environmental Control Officer and Rosemary Zelinka, Senior Planner

This report has been prepared in consultation with the following listed departments.


Concurring Departments





Ian Radnidge


Community Planning & Development

Kip Gaudry





A.       Sunbury Neighbourhood Association  Presentation to Delta Council May 30,2005

B.       Sunbury Neighbourhood Association Background Notes for Council Presentation May 30, 2005

C.       Letter dated June 9, 2005 from Mayor Jackson to Chair Hunt re: Air Quality Monitoring along River Road Corridor

D.       Letter dated July 19, 2005 from the Johnny Carline, CAO GVRD to Mayor Jackson re: North Delta Air Quality Monitoring


Critique of their response:

We wrote back to Ian Radnidge outlining where we thought they had missed the point on their response to our concerns.

See the full critique here...