A controversial land use plan has the potential to significantly alter the environment of Metro Vancouver's community of Delta. More than 200 people spoke and a large crowd attended 3 days of Public Hearings on the controversial development proposal to rezone the Tsawwassen Southlands agricultural land in Boundary Bay.
The Century Group proposal includes 950 residential units and commercial space in exchange for the transfer of 425 Acres to Delta to be used for possible agriculture, natural habitat and public open space. The developer would also contribute to improve agricultural drainage and irrigation.
At the Public Hearing, Sean Hodgins, President of Century Group, said: “This project will activate farmland and provide much needed housing options. For a long time this land had divided the community and this new plan is an opportunity to embrace a plan that will unite the community.”
Speakers wore green shirts showing support for the development, while those opposed wore red hats. Speaker John Ralston who lives In Boundary Bay opposes the development saying the thousands of trucks and added pollution will destroy this rural paradise. Laura Dixon – supporting the project – expressed concern about declining school enrollment and the need to bring more housing and people to this area.
Others opposing the application spoke about the negatives of building on this low-lying flood plain which sees regular flooding and the ruining of natural habitat. The “Save Our Southlands” group opposes the development and is actively pursuing a campaign to maintain the land's agricultural status – including posting a petition online.
Delta has decided to extend the hearing for another day Friday November 1 – (3 to 9:30 pm.) to allow a back log of people still wishing to speak.
In 1989, the Tsawwassen community rose up to protest at the longest public hearing in Canadian history lasting 25 nights with 409 speakers, to oppose a proposed residential development on this agricultural site. Delta Council shelved the plan.
Resource: Southlands video