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Tsawwassen's Southlands taking shape

A theme Century Group wants to replicate in other parts of the overall development is the consolidation of private outdoor spaces into single communal outdoor spaces
How things are currently looking at the Southlands Village. It is a mixed-use residential community that will have up to 950 residential units.

The Southlands Village continues to take shape with Delta city council’s recent approval of a development variance permit for a seven-lot subdivision in the 6300-block of Dairy Avenue.

That development will see seven small bare land strata lots with houses clustered around a shared, landscaped courtyard in the middle of the development, as well as a shared parking area located on the north edge of the site.

A planning department report notes that in lieu of larger individual rear yards, the courtyard would serve as a shared outdoor area at the front of the dwellings with amenities such as a large harvest table for outdoor dining and a fire pit with lounge chairs.

The location of the courtyard is to further activate the courtyard by requiring residents to walk through the common amenity to reach their front doors. It is designed to meet the principles of a ‘pocket neighbourhood’, a type of a planned community coined by architect Ross Chapin.

Council was told the variance does not involve an increase in building height and the applicant, Century Group Lands Corp., is also not seeking an increase in density.

“The owner has indicated that the variances are required to achieve their vision for the community-oriented development. The cottage courtyard typology uses the principles of economies of scale through consolidation of private outdoor space into a single communal outdoor space. In order to facilitate the larger outdoor area that functions as a communal space with greater amenities, the cottage courtyard typology redistributes the required yard areas into a centralized shared zone,” the report explains.

The applicant is seeking to develop more cottage courtyard developments in Southlands following on the success of the first cottage courtyard development, approved in 2019, at 263 Parkside St.

Planning Director Marcy Sangret said the city is working with Century Group on a number of refinements to the Comprehensive Development Zone for the area. She also noted the city is looking into streamlining the approvals process moving forward.

The city’s advisory design panel a few weeks ago endorsed a proposed 13-unit subdivision, also in the 6300-block of Dairy Avenue. That proposed three-storey townhouse development would be located north of Market Square, south of Dairy Avenue and west of single-detached housing.