Flaws and Fantastic Future

Raiser-pic-MAINBy Bryan Raiser
Published: Feb. 23, 2013


Saying there are flaws in our democratic system is laughably obvious. There are so many where do you start? Well at last weeks meeting one of my “favorites” reared it’s ugly head yet again.

Here is the scenario.

X developer wants to make a deal to re-zone a bunch of land. After much public consultation the deal is signed on the dotted line. Years go by and for whatever circumstances (‘bad economic times’ is a classic) the development doesn’t go as planned.

X developer then comes back to the district asking for the deal to be re-written saying “the deal we had was when times were better, times are worse now and we want to re-write the deal”.

You certainly can’t blame the developer for trying since it sometimes works. But it drives me up the wall because this only works one way and never in the taxpayers favor.

As I said in Tuesdays’ meeting, “So, today we are in tough economic times, and yet we’re signing deals every week. What happens when times get better? By this logic we should be able to say, ‘hold on there – the deal we had was in different times, now we want to change it’.

Could you imagine the outcry/tears of laughter that would ensue? No one would even suggest doing that. Yet municipalities are often asked to do just that – it’s a one way street and I don’t like it.”

I don’t believe that district taxpayers are here to bail out developers if/when things go bad by going back on our written word. In fact, developers are right in wanting level playing fields and consistency – not contracts that can be altered at any time.

This is why we/the district have been working very hard getting the house in order and sending the right message that we are open for business you can count on.

Speaking of open for business messaging (nice segue Bryan) have you seen the new District promotional video (link at bottom of newsletter)? It’s pretty good and definitely a taste of the direction we are going.

That’s it for now. Next week we spend countless hours in budget deliberations setting the stage for the years spending (link at bottom). As always, thanks for reading and if there’s anything on your mind, don’t hesitate to drop me a line.

Editor’s Note: You can read more of Coun. Bryan Raiser’s observation on life in Squamish on his blog.



  1. Muriel Shephard says:

    You’re right, Bryan,
    The developers jumped in when they thought they could make a buck, and now want concessions. They made a business decision: they should honor it. Everyone is feeling the pinch – not just the developers.

  2. Jim Lorman says:

    Give them the concession for a chunk of the sales. (not the profit)

  3. Nelson Winterburn says:

    Are e-mailed letters to councillors still getting ‘lost’ or has the system been configured to ensure messages now get through? How many other citizens of Squamish have noticed their e-mailed correspondence goes unanswered?

    Just a thought.

    • Susan Chapelle says:

      Email us directly. Councillor’s name @squamish.ca all of our emails can be found online.

  4. Susan Chapelle says:

    You are somewhat right Bryan, because “X developer” is now Y developer, whom X developer sold his project to after it became unfeasible. When Y developer looked at the deal, perhaps he realized why it was unfeasible and decided to ask for some reasonable changes so it can be completed, and people can have their amenities, which is what put X out of business. This went well, no harm in asking, council decided to allow some, but not all. Each situation is different with development, we have to decide as a council what is best for the community without putting XYZ out of business. That isn’t good for anyone. I agree, we are not here to “bail out” developers, but what we are here to do is to make a new situation work for everyone. A new purchaser is a chance to have a project built that was already under. Those on the side roads now have a chance to get on municipal systems. Good for all.