I wish to make a simple but provocative point: focusing on building strong cities is also a valuable form of productive conservation. Or, to put it negatively, you can't persistently block new housing in your neighbourhood while boldly claiming to care about the environment. We should do a lot to protect wetlands and other crucial ecosystems while simultaneously reconsidering the way that we have tried to protect our built up residential areas.
To be responsible, you must support the gradual addition of new housing units on the lands that we have currently decided are suitable places to build neighbourhoods in regions where housing demand is high. The effect of suppressing supply of housing on housing lands for several decades has meant that the City of Delta has officially made it extremely difficult to address the housing needs it freely admits are real in its own reports on the issue. Instead of the gradual adaptation of existing buildings to house more family members, take on a boarder, or provide space for a co-worker, cities have stopped the dynamic adjustment of neighbourhoods through zoning and now face a whole host of ills because of this decision.
We normally look at the total tax bill. Big properties pay big bills and that’s what makes our city’s finance department happy. Right? We should take one additional step to assess the contributions of our property owners in order to have a productive conversation about growth and value in our city.
When we decide to embrace the small lots and historic street layout of Ladner Village, we will be able to give our property owners and developers a clear set of guidelines for the significant projects of redevelopment that will bring lively energy, homes for many, and greater prosperity to this great part of Delta.