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Delta throwback: Finding Ladner a theme

Business owners considered coming up with a design for Ladner in 1976
ladner 1970
It was suggested the general design of Ladner should have one theme.

“Now is the time to develop a theme of what we want Ladner to look like in the future”.

That’s what Ralph Bouwman told fellow members of the Ladner Business Association at a meeting in February of 1976.

Bouwman said he feels Ladner should have something to identify it as a separate entity, different from any place else.

He suggested a continuity of construction for the front facades of business buildings or some design to provide cohesiveness.

“We should have something basic in mind what we want for Ladner,” he said.

Delta Chamber of Commerce president John Friesen agreed, noting Kimberly, B.C. as an example of a town effectively displaying one theme.

It was suggested that Delta administer Mike Allen speak with the association and provide ideas for a theme.

Alderman Tony Schmand said ideas should all go to the new Urban Renewal Action Committee, which formed during that time, instead of multiple people wanting to carry out their own plans.

The committee was described as “the vehicle we should use to get this thing on the road.”

Fast forward to 2021 and the city is considering a revitalization plan, which includes new building height allowances, for the village and waterfront. Council received a report this summer which contained a series of recommendations.

A consultant’s report notes, “Updating the Ladner Village design guidelines will be critical to moderating the scale of redevelopment to preserve Ladner's unique character and charm. The design guidelines will help achieve a desired look and scale of development.”

The report adds,“They will guide design of new buildings to reflect the current era while being compatible with adjacent heritage buildings. The heritage buildings and features including the original road network and narrow lot frontages are important to the overall unique character of Ladner Village and heritage conservation tools will be recommended.” 

Proposed draft bylaws will come back to council later this year.

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