Former Delta South MLA Val Roddick speaking at Metro Vancouver public hearing on the Southlands proposal.

Former Delta South MLA Val Roddick speaking at Metro Vancouver public hearing on the Southlands proposal.

VIDEO: Speakers spar at Metro Vancouver hearing on Southlands project

Compromise plan to develop farmland seen by some as dangerous regional precedent



Speakers for and against a controversial proposal to build 950 homes on historic Tsawwassen farmland are at a Metro Vancouver public hearing today.

See video live stream above or here.

Advocates of the Southlands development argue it will be a sustainable, positive housing project for Delta that preserves 80 per cent of the agricultural land for farming   or park space.

Opponents warn it sets a dangerous precedent for the Metro region that will see other developers demand similar deals in order to lucratively develop farmland.

“Close this Pandora’s box before it’s too late,” said one speaker.

The proposal by Delta council to redraw the urban containment boundary in Metro Vancouver’s regional growth strategy and redesignate the 217-hectare Southlands property from agricultural needs a two-thirds majority vote of Metro’s board to pass.

Former Delta South MLA Val Roddick called the compromise one that strikes a fair balance and ensures much of the land is actually farmed.

“The pressure of growth on the entire Fraser Valley has craeted an enormous necessity for creative thinking,” Roddick said. “The Southlands proposal is providing exaclty that.”

Former Delta South MLA Val Roddick speaking at Metro Vancouver public hearing on the Southlands proposal.