(By: Elvis Glazier) After reading Mike Shneider's opinion piece (published in the Delta Optimist November 14, 2009) in the titled, "Lack of choice prompts some to look elsewhere for housing", I find myself utterly confused. The writer tries to confuse the issue of development by citing Patrick Conron's opinion that the Metro Vancouver region will require "800,000 additional dwelling units by 2056". What has this to do with anything in Tsawwassen?
The fact is, one only need to look at the Canadian census reports to find out the population in Tsawwassen was 21,337 in the year 2001. Experts have projected the population to grow to 24,610 by the year 2021. That means population of Tsawwassen will grow roughly .75 percent per year. That means we would need to build about 1,200 new dwellings over the 20 years of 2001 to 2021. That amounts to 60 houses per year to handle all the growth in Tsawwassen.
I don't disagree that there needs to be more variety in the homes being built. We need to make sure that housing choices are available to everyone. I believe we need more density close to our town center. My disagreement is on the amount of housing we need. Ron Toigo's development alone will more than satisfy Tsawwassen's need for townhouses with 194 units finished by the summer of 2012. Add to that another 243 apartments and we have satisfied our dwelling requirements for over five and a half years. That doesn't include the normal development that is consistently taking place on a smaller scale.
The conclusion Mike Schneider tries so hard to draw is that if we don't build the houses on the Southlands we're going to see people leaving in droves. The article is just another thinly veiled attempt at promoting the all but doomed Southlands development project using doom and fear. Well Mike, I've done the math and your numbers just don't add up.