Gratifying to see Southlands taking shape


Congratulations Sean - your vision is finally becoming reality.

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As a volunteer member of the Southlands Community Planning Team all those years ago, it is gratifying to see plans finally taking shape.

I note even Lois Jackson, past mayor and current councillor has acknowledged the unique design (Optimist article, Sept. 3) created with the help of many local residents who served on the SCPT, plus the professionals you brought to our meetings to teach us the wonderful opportunities and possibilities to incorporate in the new neighbourhood against strong odds from the “but it has always been done this way” and “we don't want to consider changes” crowd who vocally made it so difficult to make progress.

The wonderful open houses we held in the barn to educate the general public and residents of Delta who with blinders on, stayed away in droves because they did not have your vision of the incredible future of a boutique farming community intertwined with housing so that one could walk down to the local farm or go to the farmers' market to pick up farm fresh produce. To enjoy a community based on accessibility, a walking community, houses designed to meet future needs of aging populations with built in connections in readiness for stair lifts, all the advanced features of geothermic power with left over production being shared with the rest of the community, solar panels to cut costs, shared open spaces, community building opportunities to connect with our neighbours et al. I had my eyes on a cottage which, due to health issues is now beyond me as I need support provided by the Wexford (one of  a selection of seniors residences which, if one is ever considered for the Southlands, would be an enticing choice in Delta).

Sean had the vision, the endurance to withstand all the criticisms from elements of Delta local government and close-minded residents who would have denied South Delta of its award-winning designs, which due to so much anti-change attitude, had to be scaled back in their perspective.

I was looking forward to the holding pond to collect upper Tsawwassen regions water runoff, doubling as an ice rink in winter months with a jogging track incorporated for year round Delta runners to test their physical abilities and other features that did not make it to the final reality unless, in his wisdom, Sean was able to make allowances for completions not possible with the limited plan accepted by the municipality then, city now.

I felt privileged to be included in this team helping Sean to make his vision a reality. I received an education in development considerations and new techniques and products for which I am truly grateful. Plus the input from public transit for a proposed route for all locals to access the Centennial Beach through the East-West corridor from 4th Ave. and 56th St.

Sean, if you ever want to reunite the team for future improvements to bring it closer to our perceived plan, I'm sure we would all want to support you in whatever ways we can.

I remember so many additional features (farmers sharing equipment stored on site without having big noisy farm machinery clogging up local traffic or keeping residents awake. Our plan was one to have great pride in as it was considerate of the neighbours who, to be honest, were not welcoming new residents.

I look forward, post COVID-19, to seeing what has been accomplished so far and what possibilities might await all Deltans in the future.

Karel Ley

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