Mayor Lois E. Jackson, Delta Council, and Chief Administrative Officer George V. Harvie are disappointed with the Province of British Columbia’s decision not to provide long-term leases for the Seven Seas properties, as requested by the Corporation of Delta.
Since 2013, Delta has worked to secure improved and longer term leases on seven properties along Chisolm Street on Ladner Waterfront, including the Seven Seas properties owned by Delta. When the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority’s head lease expired on December 31, 2014, the Province became directly responsible for the administration of water lot leases. Although the draft water leases for four of the properties met Delta’s requests, the three leases for the Seven Seas properties offer a term of only ten years, and are restricted for community amenity and heritage preservation, effectively downzoning the properties and eliminating the potential to sell these properties for development and providing an economic stimulus for Ladner Village.
“Our vision for the Ladner Waterfront extends much further than the ten years that we were offered,” said Mayor Lois E. Jackson. “Through our proposed long lease terms, Delta has planned for the economic sustainability of subsequent generations.”
With the approval of Mayor Jackson and Delta Council, CAO George V. Harvie, lead the initiative to purchase the Seven Seas properties in 2005 and 2008, ultimately paying $2.34 million for the properties. In 2013, the properties were appraised at approximately $2.38 million, assuming long term, 50-year leases. Unfortunately, the term and restrictions of the proposed ten-year leases by the Province greatly devalues the properties. As a result, redevelopment opportunities along Ladner’s commercial waterfront are frustrated, stalling critical potential investments essential to the survival of this community.
“Delta’s Mayor and Council, as well as myself, are truly unhappy with and just cannot accept the Province’s decision,” said Delta’s Chief Administrative Officer George V. Harvie. “The purpose of these water lot leases is not only to bring in sustainable development that will increase vibrancy in the community, but to invigorate the local economy, providing benefit to all the small businesses in Ladner Village. “
The Corporation of Delta, Delta staff, and Delta’s business consultants on the South Delta Business Sustainability Strategy strongly believe that securing long-term leases are critical to Ladner Village’s sustainability. There is concern that without these leases, the damage to the local economy will be long-term and potentially permanent in some cases.
Delta Council and staff will continue to advocate for long-term leases at the Ladner Waterfront. On March 28, 2017, Mayor Jackson wrote a letter to the Honourable Steve Thomson, Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations, expressing the concerns with the draft water lot leases.
Read the full council report with the attachments.