Smoke Bluff Residents Want Council to Reject Kingswood

By Gagandeep Ghuman
Published: May 15, 2014
 
More than 100 people from the Smoke Bluffs neighbourhood submitted a letter to the district, urging it to reject the large-scale development proposed along the Upper Mamquam Blind Channel.
 
The residents said they are concerned the Kingswood project – which would include 425 multi-unit dwellings – would “impact our neighbourhood, quality of life, property values, traffic, trail networks, and wildlife.” 
 
Kingswood has applied to rezone the property.
 
“The Kingswood development is an ill conceived proposal that should be rejected by district officials,” said neighbourhood resident Marion von Dehn, who coordinated the signature gathering for the letter.
 
These were some of the concerns the residents expressed in their letter. 
 
Impacts to trails from a proposed Behrner Drive extension.
 
Hunter trail is an important wildlife corridor and is also used by locals for hiking and dog walking. Constructing a road there would go against the District’s commitment to providing trails to the community.
 
Cost and impacts of a Clarke Drive upgrade. 
 
Kingswood is undertaking an assessment for upgrading Clarke Drive for increased traffic use. In their letter, residents asked the district who would pay for such an upgrade and what impacts road construction would have on adjacent private properties.
 
Increased traffic, road instability. 
 
Traffic from Kingswood would be funneled into Hospital Hill, a neighbourhood that includes an eldercare centre, hospital, school, and fire station. Kingswood has projected traffic from its development at rush hour would add four cars per minute to Clarke and Behrner Drives. The increased traffic would bottleneck at the 99 light, an intersection that lacks an acceleration lane for merging onto the highway. Added traffic could increase accidents.
 
Lack of public participation. 
 
In their letter the residents said they had become increasingly frustrated with a lack of outreach by District officials and the developer.
 
Impacts to wildlife, birds. 
 
Kingswood has not mapped bear, coyote, bobcat, or cougar movements through the area. In addition, Kingswood has not analyzed the risk of human/wildlife interactions as a result of building a development that would house up to 1,000 new tenants. Introducing so many people could increase human/wildlife conflicts.
 

Comments

  1. TJay says:

    Not…in MY backyard ! ad nauseam…

  2. guntis says:

    One of the biggest attractions to Squamish is the network of walking trails and green space. I think development of Squamish in general will be a benefit, but some areas should be off limits, or at least be looked at very carefully. I don’t live in the Smoke Bluff neighbourhood, but in my opinion, further expansion should not be done. Any development should be limited to existing buildings/lots.

  3. David Lassmann says:

    The intended use of this property should have been dealt with at the last Official Community Plan update. Local residents can make their opinions known through that process. However, “not in my backyard” is not a bad policy. Quiet is important for recovering hospital patients, and safety is always important, especially for school children. Guntis is mostly right, the Smoke Bluffs/ Rose Park/ Adventure Centre area is an important part of our recreational strategy and should not be compromised by the wrong or excessive development. Kingswood will have there work cut out for them selling their project to the public. Past proposals have failed, will this one?

  4. Chris W says:

    The city is growing people get used to it!

    • dan says:

      this issue is not about the “city growing”, it is about encroachment on a residential neighborhood with a massive development located off the highway. the previous proposal by kingswood was rejected by council until they had resolved the accessibility issue and the issue is still the same. the developer knew accessibility was a inherent problem with this property and now they want to impose their problem of accessibility onto a residential neighbourhood. no one in i know of in the neighbourhood is oppsoed to development, they are opposed to the development imposing its problem onto the neighbourhood. i would like to remind council that they represent its constituents and not developers. yes, the city is growing, but lets do it right.

  5. dan f says:

    and where do you live Chris W. ? probably renting. have you ever asked the question, why does a proposed development located off the highway going to impact a residential area so far away ? I will tell you why, the proposal has always had an access problem and the problem still has not been resolved as the previous council told them. this opposition has nothing to do with the city growing or development, it is about quality of life that will be impacted by development that council is reluctant to reject because of increased tax base. lets remember this. our council represents its constituents not developers.

  6. Elliot says:

    Why would anyone want to live right next to the highway? This kind of shoebox housing would be a ghetto no matter which way you paint it. We can do so much better than this people! The area should be kept as it is zoned, some kind of light tourist business area attracting tourists off the highway.