Recent news that land options have been negotiated between Highway 17 and Deltaport Way isn't really news per se. Many within the community have been aware of these recent transactions and negotiations for a couple of years. There is little in the way of a conspiracy in play.
Supporting trade infrastructure is not a new idea but it is an undertaking that is subjected to complicated scrutiny from many angles.
There are a couple of things in these transactions that should make sense. When the TFN treaty was negotiated, ALR land was put on the table for the TFN to zone in a manner that would benefit its overall development strategy.
Mixed use, industrial and commercial types of land use evolved in the visioning process and dovetailed with the provincial Gateway Program and the federal government's Asia-Pacific Gateway and Corridor Initiative.
This recipe has given cause for business to investigate speculative land acquisition opportunities, a practice that has been around forever. The TFN has begun a process of industrial/commercial development and if you are an adjacent landowner you would probably like to understand what the playing field looks like and be able to investigate your alternatives. To buy or sell land, or to stay on it, are questions that always have answers.
In this most recent instance, some farmers accepted options and some did not. If you are farming and things are going well, maybe you will continue to farm. If things aren't going so great, a potential buyout may be very appealing indeed.
When local farmers negotiated with the federal government for mitigation from losing farmland to the South Fraser Perimeter Road, they were able to reach a multi-million dollar irrigation upgrade deal that made good long term sense for the farming community. The benefits from this negotiation will benefit farmers and you and me in the future.
These current option deals and negotiations, if they are to evolve, will need the support of municipal council before any ruling for ALR exclusion. Additionally, these lands are within the Metro Vancouver Green Zone and will have to meet rigorous challenge before any rezoning takes place.
The rural/urban interface has been evolving quickly and constantly in South Delta. The "edge" as planners call it, is usually associated with areas where rural farmland meets urban community habitat. We may think that we all co-exist but we really don't. You can see the ditches, hedgerows and fences that separate us from them throughout South Delta.
Many edge inhabitants resent noise, smells, slow moving vehicles and other realities of farming.
Planners and developers are attempting to blur the edge so that a broader and much more integrated collaboration could improve net benefit at either side and within the edge. This process has received local and international attention right here on the old Spetifore farm.
In the lands around Deltaport there may be an opportunity to help farming and agriculture through these transactions. Perhaps food distribution, warehousing and food processing facilities could be mandated for this industrial/agriculture "edge" to help farmers cut costs, and help them better market, compete and ultimately survive in a challenging industry. That would be good for all of us.