Southlands, more specifically "Blenheim Flats" or just "the Flats", is a Vancouver neighbourhood situated on the northern edge of the floodplain of the Fraser River. Historically because of difficulty in providing services on the floodplain, and more recently because of special protective zoning, Southlands has retained a distinctly rural flavour. A walk in Southlands will reveal open vistas and meadows where horses and other animals graze. Because land is available to keep animals, an equestrian community flourishes here, anchored by the 16-acre Southlands Riding Club.
Southlands is part of the City of Vancouver. It is located in the southwest, roughly bounded on the north by 49th Avenue, on the south by the Fraser River, on the west by Macdonald Street and on the east by Blenheim and Carrington Streets.
Development in Southlands is governed by special RA-1 zoning designed to "maintain and encourage the semi-rural, equestrian and limited agricultural nature of the district..." Two documents are available describing this zoning (both require the free Adobe Acrobat reader):