In 2006, I first put forward a vision to create a new type of neighbourhood; a neighbourhood that includes parks, trails, open space and most importantly embraces and integrates Delta’s agricultural heritage. At my open invitation, a group of 24 local residents, representing a broad cross section of our community, came together and committed their time and talent to form the Southlands Community Planning Team (SCPT). It was this team which set the principles that guided the planning for Southlands.
Over 15 months and after over 2,000 volunteer hours of impassioned, fun, inspiring and sometimes contentious meetings, community open houses and field trips it became clear that Southlands was not only an opportunity to create an agriculturally integrated neighbourhood but was a real opportunity to establish a sustainably managed Community Farm of regional significance - for the health and education of our community and the entire Metro Vancouver region.
It was ultimately this grander vision of a neighbourhood that included a Community Farm that captured the imagination of those who took the time to participate and shape the Southlands plan. It is this final plan for Southlands that Delta Mayor and Council approved with a strong vote of confidence after much thoughtful consideration, five days of public hearings and reviewing hundreds of pieces of correspondence, staff recommendations and professional reports.
I would like to thank the community and Mayor and Council for their leadership in recognizing this unique landmark opportunity for all of Delta – a project we and the generations to come will be proud of. The community is now looking forward to Metro Vancouver Board's favourable consideration of Delta's application that will allow this opportunity to be realized.
President, Century Group