The application to build 950 homes on the Southlands requires a change in the Official Community Plan.
For more than three decades this land has remained designated and zoned as agricultural.
Last year Delta council reaffirmed this designation when updating the Tsawwassen Area Plan.
This was done after a long and expensive community consultation, and an independent poll by Ipsos Reid. More than two-thirds of those in the community that responded wished for the agricultural designation to remain.
Despite this council has decided to process the application from Century Group, which is offering 80 per cent of the Southlands to the Corporation of Delta, of which approximately 50 per cent would be used for farming (or 40 per cent of the total).
Century has said we need more people here. South Delta will, however, have no shortage of new residents without the planned 950 homes.
In fact, the growth rate within the next decade is already going to be very large, with the TFN development, planned development on 56th Street, Tsawwassen Springs and the probability of considerable infill in the community.
Since the 1980s when George Hodgins decided to acquire the Southlands, there have been few attempts to improve the land or use it for farming. There is absolutely no doubt the purchase was in fact a speculative venture that would hopefully lead to an increase in land value and development. We have now reached a decision point once again.
The constant changes in procedure that have flowed from the administration and the politicians now indicate the mayor and her officials seem set to recommend the Century application.
They have organized a presentation of what Delta would do with the 80 per cent at the public information meeting in June to be held under their auspices.
The public information meetings to be held by Century on May 12 and 15 will concentrate on the rezoning application for Phase 1, including 450 housing units.
The mayor has invested much political capital in trying to achieve some sort of compromise. So far there is no consensus support for her ideas.
As the land is already designated agricultural, this compromise would only protect about 50 per cent for agriculture. Ownership by the Corporation of Delta would certainly pass liability for drainage, construction and maintenance to our local taxpayer base.
I think it's time for municipal hall to stop changing the ground rules, and commission another Ipsos Reid poll.