Local businessman Ron Toigo made a presentation at city council’s committee of the whole meeting last Monday (June 6) to discuss his plan to develop a final parcel of a Tsawwassen residential subdivision.
Toigo had earlier put forward to the planning department a preliminary concept for a 20-lot subdivision at 300 Copsefield Drive, a 2.3 hectare (5.7 acre) area located to the south and west of Southlands, east of the Wellsgreen Place development and directly north of the Tsawwassen Terrace Park Reserve.
The property currently contains a single-detached house built in 2004 and is used as a hobby farm. The property is accessed through an easement at the Wellsgreen Place development.
Toigo noted that staff told him a higher-density proposal with smaller units would be more ideal if the location is allowed for development.
He said his initial idea for the 20-lot subdivision would likely be much different by the time a formal application is submitted, so at this stage he was simply gauging council’s interest in seeing something developed at the site and gathering ideas.
The city currently has the property zoned agricultural. It is also designated as agricultural in Metro Vancouver’s Regional Growth Strategy and is outside of the regionally defined Urban Containment Boundary.
Toigo noted the property is not farmed and their research could not find it having been farmed dating back to the 1940s.
Community Planning Director Marcy Sangret confirmed the site is not in the provincial Agricultural Land Reserve, although it had been designated for agriculture by the city for at least the past two versions of the Official Community Plan (OCP). Further research will take place to try to determine when it had been zoned for the designation.
A staff report notes OCP policies encourage the consolidation of farm parcels and also promote the continued farm use of agricultural land, attracting new and diversified farm operations, improving long- term viability of the agricultural industry, while encouraging non-soil dependent farm operations to locate in areas of poorer soil quality.
Noting the site has several challenges, Toigo added he will consult with the Delta Farmers’ Institute for their thoughts about the property.
Any redesignation would likely result in some form of amenity contribution for local farming, which could include irrigation enhancements for the farming community elsewhere in Delta, he added.