The Corporation of Delta announced last week it has signed an agreement with the Dayhu Group, a family-owned real estate investment company that has plans to build a 900,000-square-foot commercial distribution centre on industrial land near the Boundary Bay Airport.
The mayor was quick to point out the Dayhu development is expected to create approximately 1,000 ongoing jobs, which would be a welcome boost in any economy, particularly the one we find ourselves in today. I'm sure the numbers surrounding tax revenues and economic spin-offs are equally as rosy.
Any project that brings such financial might to the table has to be considered a coup for local government, so civic officials deserve praise for brokering the deal, however, I'm still having a hard time wrapping my head around the location.
I realize the land is zoned for industry, so what's going in there makes sense and meets all regulations, but it seems like an odd spot to be creating another business park.
I drove over the new 80th Street overpass the other day and when I got to the crest of the $15 million structure I slowed to look around. What struck me about the scene was how the landscape once dominated by farm fields was now dotted with a variety of other uses, a view that will continue to evolve given the multitude of land preparation equipment that was in sight.
It's ironic that even though land use has long been considered a contact sport in Delta, for some reason this burgeoning industrial area hasn't really drawn much attention from the public. Perhaps it's because the site is already zoned for such purposes (although the zoning was recently changed from aviation-related to a much broader spectrum of uses) or maybe it's simply a case of being out of sight, out of mind.
Whatever the reason, the talk about protecting farmland focuses on warehouses near the port or houses on the Southlands. I realize those properties are zoned agricultural and this is industrial, but come on, if we're really committed to the cause all it would take is a stroke of the pen to change that.
Yet what we've seen is a move the other way, a broadening of the acceptable uses in order to allow more industry to set up shop in what has long been an agricultural stronghold.
I guess it makes the most financial sense for land use to go in that direction. Funny, I think I've heard that argument somewhere else before.