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Delta Throwback: Little land left due to 'fantastic urban sprawl'

The city’s population was rising fast but the acquisition of new parkland was reportedly not keeping pace
Pat Shields in 1967 was a former city councillor but he would be elected again in 1969.

Let’s head back to October 1967 when Delta’s continuing population explosion had Pat Shields and fellow members of the parks and recreation commission hard at work with long range planning.

At a Tsawwassen-Ladner Kiwanis Club meeting , Shields described the expanding needs of Delta residents for playground, picnic and recreation areas. The presentation was one of several to community organizations.

A referendum for the purchase of lands for parks was put before ratepayers in that December’s municipal election.

Supporters of the parks bylaw had been campaigning throughout Delta, handing out information leaflets at shopping centres.

Shields was the “Vote Yes” campaign chairman, saying they were anxious to make citizens aware of the situation.

“We are a rapidly growing community and it is vital that we obtain parkland before the fantastic urban sprawl takes over the available land. Even with the land we hope to obtain with the bylaw, Delta will still be behind the national average for park acreage,” he said.

The much-discussed parks referendum passed with a 66 per cent yes vote.

It was also reported around the same time that the total number of new dwelling units approved in South Delta for the first 10 months of 1967 was 1,183. For the month of October alone, 127 permits were issued.

That was a big jump for the first 10 month of 1966, when 575 permits were issued