It’s a complex project with many moving parts.
That’s what Century Group president Sean Hodgins told the Optimist in a recent tour of the Southlands development, where a lot of irrigation and drainage works are taking place, as well as other projects, that will transform the site into a new community centered on the concept of agricultural urbanism.
By this time next year things will really start to take shape for the new neighbourhood, he said.
The Southlands project includes 950 housing units in various forms and approximately 80,000 square feet of commercial space.
Century Group gave Delta 170 hectares (425 acres), about 80 per cent of the total property, to be used for agriculture, natural habitat, public open space and greenways.
The farming component includes a 50-acre community farm that’s expected to be certified as organic by this year. The project also includes a market square with community indoor and outdoor space.
Delta retained farmer Brent Kelly to conduct improvements to the Southlands agricultural land which included land clearing, redistribution of soil reclaimed, ditch cleaning and drain tile installation.
Last year, council approved additional funding to commence construction of the irrigation canal. Brent Kelly Farms Inc. was recently awarded another contract for more field improvements.
A recent staff report notes the intent is to now proceed with preparation other fields, work that includes, among other things, laser levelling. The scope of work for this year also includes spreading of soil excavated from the ongoing irrigation reservoir construction in preparation for future land improvements.
Council this week approved the subdivision of a small part of the site into eight bare land strata lots with a shared courtyard. An approved 18-unit townhouse development is located immediately to the west and an approved 33-unit townhouse development is located to the north.
The landscaped courtyard would include shared amenities including a communal work/storage area, gardens, picnic tables and bicyle rack.
A Delta staff report notes the development is unique with little precedence locally.
However, the report also notes a number of pocket neighbourhoods have been developed in the Pacific Northwest such as the Greenwood Avenue Cottages in the City of Shoreline and the Conover Commons Cottages in the City of Redmond, both just outside Seattle. Staff have confirmed that the layout for the Southlands pocket neighbourhood plan is consistent with those developments and design principals.
People will be able to access the Southlands directly off 56th Street
Sean Hodgins checking out the Red Barn which is undergoing extensive renovations
The Southlands project includes narrow roads to encourage speed reduction and oversized sidewalks
As far as the housing, prepartions are now underwary for the first set of townhouses. For more information about the development check