Gateway Casinos and Entertainment Ltd has announced that the $70 million complex proposed for the Delta Town & Country Inn will be called Cascades Casino Delta.

Gateway also uses the Cascades brand for its Langley, Kamloops and Penticton casinos.

The public hearing for the rezoning application takes place tomorrow, May 1st at 6pm at the Ladner Community Centre.

If the proposal receives approval, the current 49 room hotel would be torn down this summer to make way for the new complex that would be scheduled to open in 2020.

The complex would include a hotel of 116 to 124 rooms, restaurants and meeting places, while the casino is to have 500 slot machines, 24 gaming tables and up to six e-tables. After 6 months, a review would take place but any substainial change to the gaming equation would require city approval.

The casino would be considerably smaller than Richmond's River Rock Casino Resort, which has 1,267 slot machines and 112 table games. Richmond has registered strong opposition  to the proposed Delta facility.

The B.C. Lottery Corporation estimated revenue coming to Delta will be at the top end of its initial $1.5 million to $3 million annual projection based on the casino opening with 500 slot machines. Does Delta need a casino? Your views?

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Why try and re-invent the wheel?  Maybe Richmond should just adopt Delta's bylaw to stop mansions taking over valuable farmland.

Back in 2006, Delta made changes to prevent speculators and would-be  mansion owners from purchasing farmland as a cheap place to build huge homes, limiting house sizes and defining 'home plate' on agricultural properties.

The maximum farm house floor area for properties less than 8 hectares (20 acres) is 3,552 square feet and for properties 8 hectares or greater it's 5,005 square feet. The maximum area for an additional farmhouse is 1,937 square feet on a lot of less then 8 hectares, while it's 2,507 square feet on a lot of 8 hectares or greater.

Delta has also taken a number of other measures over the years to  protect farmland, including maintaining its policy to generally not permit lot splitting because smaller parcels are viewed as less valuable.

In 2010 Richmond attempted to restrict house  sizes in the ALR but council backed away after opposition from land owners and developers. Since then the average house size in the ALR reached a staggering 12,583 square feet in 2015, and much larger since.

Last year Richmond gave it another go, but didn't go along with the Ministry of Agriculture's recommended guideline for a maximum house of a little over 5,000 square feet, instead allowing homes twice that size, which certainly is not going to prompt developers and speculators to walk away.

Are mega mansions on Richmond's farmlands a sign of progress, or just giving in to big money developers.  Your thoughts?

farmland mansion

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Grinder and Coola are finally awake after their 153 day nap. 

To the delight of many visitors, the 2 Grouse Mountain residents emerged from their den yesterday morning and played around in the snow.

Beautiful spring weather welcomed the 17 year old bears who have lived at Grouse Mountain since 2001 when they were rescued after being orphaned during separate incidents in Bella Coola and Invermere.

The recent hibernation period has earned a tie for the longest since their arrival at Grouse Mountains Refuge for Endangered Wildlife.

Hibernation through the winter is a natural way for grizzlies to conserve energy during a time of low food availability.

Grouse Mountain visitors can now watch the bears playing and exploring their habitat through the warmer months.

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If you are considering replacing your ageing TV and would like to watch your favourite movies and TV series literally anywhere, then the Lumipal 2000 might be what you are looking for.

The Lumipal 2000 is a premium HD projector that's as big and portable as a small book. The designers have crammed all the power and brightness of an expensive projector into this tiny book-sized device.

Now you can  project your favourite show on any surface in  high-quality 1080p, with a device that can handle all possible inputs - HDMI, AV, CVBS and or course USB - meaning you can project anything on it.

It's brightness is a stunning 800 lumens, which is not only surprising for a unit so small but is also considered the 'sweet spot'. Not too bright that it hurts your eyes , but easily bright enough to use during daytime in the shade.

All you have to do is plug it in and face it towards a wall, ceiling, blinds, garage door... then simply focus the picture using the lens dial. It takes about 10 seconds to set up. Then press play and just like that, you can relax and watch your favourite sports event, while saving thousands on what an expensive TV would have cost you. Sounds interesting. I will have to check it out!

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One of Richmond's most iconic, historic houses is set for a big renovation that will give it a new lease on life.

McKinney House on Dyke Road, next to London Landing was granted approval by city council to give the home a facelift and rebuild a non-historic extension at the back.

The renovation will maintain the historic features of the house, which was built on Steveston Highway and No. 2 Rd. in 1911.

The 4 storey house is considered an excellent example of Foursquare Edwardian era architecture with Craftsman influences. It became a protected heritage house in 1988. In 1993 the house was moved overnight to 6471 Dyke Road with local fanfare.

The plans are to tear down a non-historic 2 storey extension that was built in the 1990's and double its size, to accommodate a small pool downstairs and a living room upstairs.

The McKinney's arrived in Richmond in 1890. They ordered 'The Hamilton' house from the Sears, Roebuck and Company catalogue in 1908. They made significant upgrades to the original Sears plan with the goal of constructing an unrivalled residence in Steveston.

The McKinneys were known for their philanthropy, volunteering with the Liberal party and the Kiwanis club, and hosting LIberal functions, Red Cross teas and fashion shows in the house.

They sold the house in 1948 to the Scallon family.

McKinney House

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Author, Roy MacGregor explains our hockey values best - teamwork, resourcefulness, tenacity, humility and truimph - which are the same principles Canadians try to uphold on the world stage, as individuals.

Across our country, on frozen backyard ponds, community rinks and in state-of-the-art arenas, Canadians play our national sport, hockey. The game that is invariably tied to our collective sense of what it means to be Canadian and is perhaps our most identifiable icon.

All season long, fans gather around TV's at home or in pubs to watch our national drama unfold - which only intensifies this time of year, during the playoffs.

This is the only time of year that I would dare cheer for the Winnipeg Jets, or worst, the Toronto Maple Leafs, but we  support our only Canadian teams left playing. Let's face it, if either of these teams made it to the final, we as a nation would be rushing to the nearest TV to cheer them on. 

And this year, more than any I can recall, our big Canadian Hockey Family, rallies together if support of the game, and those that we so tragically lost in Humboldt. 

Thank God for Hockey! 

Image result for humboldt bronco photos

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When you think of your average rock star, you probably picture him living in a multi-million dollar mansion, surrounded by luxury items galore. But rather than be bothered with flashy art work, a one-of-a-kind wine cellar or a pricey infinity pool, Kid Rock prefers to keep it really simple.

The multi-platinum artist, who's sold more than 26 million albums across the globe, hangs his cowboy hat inside a double wide trailer he placed on 102 acres he owns outside of Nashville.

He says that he doesn't require a lot and downsizing over the years has made him more happy.

He loved that idea that once he ordered his new home, it came delivered to the door in 2 weeks. You can customize a few things as you go along, and  put a nice wrap on it. Simplicity at its finest.

Image result for kid rock pictureImage result for picture of kid rock double wide home

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As housing sales dropped to the lowest level in 5 years, Metro Vancouver new home starts have climbed in the first quarter with starts in Vancouver alone more than twice as high as the same period last year.

There were 6,542 homes sales on MLS in Metro Vancouver during the first quarter of 2018, which is a 13.1% decrease from the same period last year. This is the areas lowest first quarter sales total since 2013.

But housing starts have increased to 6,864 units in the first quarter this year, up 30% from last year.

In Vancouver, first quarter starts went up 109% to 1,959 homes, including 1,592 condos or townhouses.  Detach house starts jumped 93% to 364 homes.

So far this year there has been a smaller demand from buyers and fewer homes listed for sale. High prices, new tax announcements, rising interest rates and stricter mortgage requirments may be among the affecting factors.

Last month was the quietest for new home listings since 2009 and the total inventory, particularly in the condo and townhouse segments remain well below historical norms.

Even though there are 42,590 homes under construction across Metro Vancouver, the current inventory remains low. Of the nearly 7,000 new strata units or houses that have been completed so far this year, only 1,004 remained unsold as of last month.

In Vancouver, first quarter starts soared 109 per cent to 1,956 homes, including 1,592 apartments or


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Richmond Centre sits on a pre-zoned site and as such its massive redevelopment will not be subject to the usual demands made by municipalities to ensure developers and new residents have contributed fairly to the community's growth.

The plan calls for about 2,000 new dwellings in about a dozen new towers between No. 3 Rd and Minoru Boulevard. The old, brick Sears building and the mall parkade will be demolished, as will the southern most lots. Park Rd. will be extended through the development, which will neighbour City Hall along a new east-west Road.

Because the area was pre-zoned back in the 80's, the City's ability to secure community ammenties, such as affordable housing is severly compromised.

However the site will be subject to amendments to the City Centre Area Plan, enabling city planners to negotiate some community amenity contributions, such as approximately 150 dwellings for low income in 2 purpose-built rental buildings suitable for operation by no-profit housing providers.

This however will only represent 5% of the dwelling space, not the 10% now required under a rezoning application of similar magnitude. 

The development proposed 50% 'family-friendly' housing, meaning half of the total units will be 2 or more bedrooms. Because of the pre-zoning, the developers do not require consultation with Richmond School District, but the application will be forwarded to the Board of Education as a courtesy, where nearby schools are already bursting at the seams.

Due to population growth, the Canada Line is already nearing maximum capacity. Hopefully we will see more trains by 2020, but the line is single tracked to Brighouse Station, which hampers train frequency to the area. There are no current plans to expand capacity, according to TransLink, which also does not require consultation because the site is not immediately adjacent to the site.

Is this the way you saw Richmond growing, moving forward?

City Centre surges on development tidal wave_6

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Onni has accepted Richmond city council's demand of $5.5 million in amenity contributions in exchange for rezoning the Steveston boardwalk from maritime to commercial use, but the hotel proposal has councillors hesitating.

Unlike a normal hotel, which have permanent staff on site, Onni has proposed a remote operation where customers would arrange a way to gain access to their room by barcode.

City councillors have some concerns about the operation model, feeling that there would be a lack of supervision. They would like a legal commitment from Onni as to how the hotel will be operated, but Onni declined to have that put into a covenant.

Shouldn't agreeing to a rezoning change for Onni be enough?  Should the city be forced to throw in a proposed hotel agreement? Your thoughts. 

Onni

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Starting this Friday, April 6, emergency alerts in B.C. will be sent to compatible wireless devices, such as smartphones, to ensure more people have the information they need to act quickly in an emergency.

Alerts will be broadcast automatically at no cost to the user. Wireless-compatibility information is available online at AlertReady.ca.

Wireless alerts will be publically tested for the first time in B.C. on May 9th at 1:55pm, alongside routine TV and radio tests.

Emergency Management BC (EMBC) is the sole agency responsible for issuing emergency notifications on the Alert Ready system in the province.  It will initially issue such alerts for tsunami threats only, while considering expanding the system to include other hazards and emergencies in the future.

Wireless alerts will contain instructions for a safe response and all BCer's are urged to abide by these instructions without delay.

Emergency alerts intended for wireless devices are issued to a defined geographic area, which can be as small as a a few city blocks, so the only people in the defined area receive the alert. Compatible devices in the targeted area, including devices that are roaming will receive the alert. You cannot opt out of receiving threat-to-life emergency alerts.

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Bob's sandwich and all day breakfast spot at No. 3 and Cook Roads closed its  doors last week after nearly 30 years in business.

The submarine shop was doing a booming business south of the Brighouse Station, offering huge portions at rock bottom prices,but the shop was forced to shut down because of redevelopment.

Bob's seated about 30 people and was stuck in a bit of a time warp that could be seen with it's prices. All day breakfast is a calling card. Eggs, hashbrowns, bacon, toast and coffee - all for less than $5. Then there was the likes of corned beef or steak and cheese subs, chicken salad and fried chicken.

Behind it all is the husband and wife team of Mi-Yeong and Frank Lee, Korean immigrants from the early 1980's, who raised 2 children in Richmond.

They came to Richmond to study but soon found Bob's, operated by their friend Bob, who changed the name from its original name 'Paul's Subs'.

The food was always Western food. Never once had they considered mixing their roots into the business. They didn't want to toy with the original business recipe.

They knew the time to close was coming, because of all the changes in the area. Whether the business is reincarnated elsewhere, time will tell, but retirement is certainly an option.

Finding a new location with a similar lease rate will be very difficult. Mi-Yeong went on to say - 'things are changing, I guess for the good, maybe for the bad. I can't say. Everyone sees it differently. 

An end of an era for Richmond.


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