1. The plan is extremely modest and has clear limits for developments within the village core. The plan will allow some more homes to be built within the village and, critically, allow for the development of parcels of land that have been neglected or abandoned because of the strict land use rules that are in place right now.
2. The village will become livelier and more interesting with more folks living there and opening up retail businesses there.
3. The pedestrian network and cycling improvements will make it an even better place to move around on foot or on wheels of various sorts.
4. The City of Delta’s plans for waterfront revitalization will not be fully funded if there are no new mixed use projects going forward in the village. It takes a lot of investment to spur the necessary redevelopment of the riverfront and streetscape.
5. Did I mention RIVERFRONT? The plan puts forward an exciting vision for the activation of the riverfront! The City’s designs of public spaces along the shoreline are exciting and will be spurred on by the introduction of more residents to use and enjoy these spaces.
6. Affordability. Many of the new housing projects will include affordable below-market units that are negotiated as part of the approvals process with the City. PLUS, the introduction of new homes in Ladner through these projects (at market rates) will inevitably remove some of the pressure from the remaining older housing stock that would otherwise be purchased and turned into luxurious single detached dwellings.
Think of it this way:
“The development industry is not choosing to build only for the rich because that’s better, they are behaving exactly the way we would expect any industry to respond to an artificial cap on their production volume. The same thing would happen in the auto industry: if we limited Toyota to only 100,000 cars per year, they might well choose to keep the Lexus and scrap the Camry, even though, at volume, the Camry is more profitable.”
The current regulations must change to pave the way for housing affordability – this plan is a step in the right direction.
7. More Nice Places: Daniel Herriges at Strong Towns wrote a fantastic article about “Our self-imposed scarcity of nice places” and it’s a must-read. So good!
8. Parking requirements – the voodo mathematics behind the existing parking regulations have driven up the cost of every project in the village and created a disincentive to building good projects in the village. There is a desparate need to reduce the existing parking requirements as they have a deadening effect on every parcel of land in the village. Check out Donald Shoup on this and you’ll recognize the impact of what we’re talking about here.