The following letter was sent to Delta council and copied to Delta Optimist:
Some of you already know me, as the owner of Lawlor Goldsmith Shoppe, a family-owned business that was in operations for over 30 years right here in Ladner, or as a dedicated volunteer with the Ladner Business Association and other community events. If we haven’t met yet, I am sure you will get the feeling that I am passionate about Ladner.
I also dedicated my time, and passion for Ladner as a member of the Ladner Village Renewal Advisory Committee (LVRAC). When I sat on this committee, I was looking through the eyes of a business owner, as an individual who lives in Ladner, as well as through the eyes of a parent, hoping that her grandchildren will get the opportunity to be born and raised in Ladner.
As a reminder the guiding principles that the LVRAC members followed were:
• Encourage a varied range of housing through smart densification in the Village core.
• Activate the waterfront for commercial development and public access.
• Support business sustainability through increased vibrancy in the Village.
• Make the Village a special place for people by preserving our past and embracing our future.
I, along with the other committee members, worked hard in these meetings, listening to presentations from local architects and representatives from the real estate/development community. I personally attended all four tours that were arranged to visit other similar communities to see what they had done to revitalize their areas. I was able to see what worked and what didn’t.
If you were on the tours with the LVRAC members, you too would have seen that there are many ways of increasing building heights up to six storeys, while still maintaining the quaintness of the village, and yes, the sun will still reach the sidewalks.
You must know by now, that if development was viable at the current building heights, then we would already have a vibrant village and we would not to be having this conversation. It is too late to save my business with smart densification, however, it is not too late to save our village and the businesses that have managed to hang on through the devastating pandemic.
Why would mayor and council form the LVRAC Committee, have staff dedicate time, effort, and money towards developing the recommendations from said committee, if they are going to vote against the recommended amendments to the Official Community Plan just because of comments from the loud minority? This is a good, comprehensive plan and we cannot afford to wait another 25 or 30 years to take action or start this all over again.
Am I part of the silent majority? Well, I won’t be silent any longer, I want my voice to be heard. I want my grandchildren to have an opportunity to live, work and play in Ladner.
I work hard for this community and I believe now is the time to implement the recommendations from the LVRAC committee, city staff, and the consultants with regards to the proposed changes to the OCP. If you vote no, then I will understand that my contribution, to my Village, is not valued by this council, and I will remember that come election day.