Some people in this community can find nothing good to say about possible development on the Southlands. From my point of view, the benefits far outweigh any negatives.
Tsawwassen is a greying community with a gradually dwindling population, this in spite of recent condo additions. Tsawwassen badly needs an influx of young families who would be attracted to the smaller scale housing that is planned. As well there are seniors in the community wishing to downsize and remain where they have lived for years.
As other developments outside the scope of the local community are built, such as the planned developments on the TFN land, more than ever it is important to maintain vibrant local shops and services that will only survive with strong local demand.
Besides accommodating a gradual increase in the population, there are numerous other benefits of the proposed development. Public ownership of 80 per cent of the land is the best way to ensure that the land is preserved for agricultural and recreational use in perpetuity. Municipal ownership will allow parcels to be leased to farmers at moderate rates, thereby encouraging agricultural use of the land and making land available to young farmers. And what a benefit to have locally grown produce available at our own farmer's market!
Opening the land to public use via footpaths and bike trails will increase the connectivity of various areas within Tsawwassen and is a great incentive for greener choices in moving throughout the community.
Also, an increase in the population will add weight to justify better transit services.
Yes there will be more traffic, but with a buildout over 15-20 years the increase will be gradual. A traffic study commissioned by Delta council showed local roads still have the capacity to absorb the expected increase. As well, other developments will lead to needed solutions to access routes such as the tunnel.
There are far more reasons to embrace this proposed development than to oppose it.
Helen L. Kettle
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