Mayor Randy Hawes hopes development in Silverdale will happen soon now that development companies Genstar and Madison have put their properties up for sale.
“I know they were not prepared to start building anything in the short run,” said Hawes, who is ambivalent about the companies’ move to offload more than 1,100 acres of land in southwest Mission.
“Genstar has been here for a long time. We have a relationship with them and I’m sorry it’s coming to an end, but I’m going to call it a new beginning. Sometimes new beginnings are a good thing.”
Hawes has accepted that Genstar is exiting the B.C. market, but recognizes the work the company has done to prepare their lands in this community for development.
He said his council will keep an open mind and are amenable to any discussions a new owner may want to have.
“We’re going to be quite flexible,” said Hawes, adding another company may not want to start development with the neighbourhood proposal created more than seven years ago.
“If whoever buys it has a solid plan that makes sense, we will support it.”
Hawes knows there are some people opposed to the Silverdale development, but he promised, “a handful of people will not hold the process hostage for the rest of the community.”
Hawes, who was serving as Mission’s MLA when Genstar and Madison went through the process to redesignate the land from rural to urban residential in the Official Community Plan, recalled “night after night of repetitive dribble.”
He said some of the speakers opposed to development were “highly insulting of Genstar, council, and anyone who supported development was belittled and berated.”
In the end, it sends a “terrible message” to anyone who wants to come to the District of Mission, Hawes noted.
“There is nobody that wants to destroy the environment. We all live here,” said Hawes.
“That property has been slated as the future of Mission for decades and it will be good to see something started there.”