Southlands rezoning application submitted to Delta Council
Residents will have a chance to revisit the ongoing Southlands debate next month at a series of public information sessions.
The dates and locations of those meetings are yet to be announced, but they come after Century Group submitted an application to Delta Council to rezone the Southlands for “Phase 1” of development.
The development company last fall put forward an application to amend the Official Community Plan for the 537-acre agricultural property.
Century Group is proposing to build 950 housing units on 20 per cent of the land. The other 80 per cent would be transferred to the Corporation of Delta for agriculture, natural habitat and public open space.
“What we’re proposing in Phase 1 is 450 units, which would support all the infrastructure that we need to build,” Century Group president Sean Hodgins said at a Delta council meeting on Monday (April 16).
“I think that the desire for this form of community would see Phase 1 built in seven or eight years,” he estimated. “You might see the subsequent phases come on stream for another seven or eight (years), so say for a total of 15, maybe 20 years. But my interest is to move it forward as quickly as we could.”
Tsawwassen architect Patrick Cotter, who also attended Monday’s council meeting, said a wide range of housing types will be represented in the first phase.
“But more significantly, because we’ve started at the heart of the village, we are delivering all of the public components and public amenities in this phase,” he said.
That would include the public market building, market square, community gardens, drainage, and a “high street” where retail shops would be located.
Cotter said the most important component of the development is the farmers’ market, which would be located at the centre of the village.
“It would have the highest building form, again three storeys, but perhaps with a tower element—really something to mark it as a landmark,” he said.
Residential and mixed-use buildings will range from two to three storeys in height, and housing will drop to one or two storeys further away from the core.
Public information sessions are anticipated for May, and council is expected to consider first and second reading in the fall. A public hearing would occur after second reading.
Delta CAO George Harvie noted that, if the proposal passes third reading, it will require approval from Metro Vancouver and the Minister of Agriculture before fourth and final reading.
Asked about the current agricultural activity taking place on site, Hodgins explained some 30 acres have been brought under tillage.
“I asked a farmer to make a crack at going in there and farming it realizing that would be part of the land that would be dedicated over to Delta,” Hodgins said.
“Weather dependent, you’ll see something planted there very soon.”