By Gagandeep Ghuman
Published: March. 3, 2012
Brackendale Owners and Tenants Association (BOATA) directors are raising the red flag over an upcoming 24-duplex homes subdivision on Brennan Road in Brackendale.
Jason Wood of Diamond Head Development plans to build 24 duplex homes on a 3.84 acres property at the end of Brennan Road, next to the Fisherman’s Park near Squamish River.
BOATA directors say they want the district to conduct a public hearing since the developer has been opaque about addressing their concern. The developer refutes that and says he is open to discussion.
BOATA directors, however, say the subdivison is flawed on many fronts.
There are unanswered questions about ground water drainage in a flood plain, about traffic and access issues for pedestrians and cyclists, and non-adherence to Smart Growth on the Ground principles, BOATA directors say.
Another worry: The subdivision will change the rural character of the neighbourhood, they say.
Glenne Campbell looks out of her window and she sees the worrisome sign of things to come: A sign informing people about the subdivision.
Campbell says much of Brackendale, including this property, is on a flood plain. Barren, it’s a natural sponge for the rain water.
During the 2003 floods, the whole property was a swamp.
But where does the water go if the land is paved, packed over, and covered with 24 homes ?
The ground rendered impervious by concrete will force the water towards other homes, Campbell fears.
“It will flood neighbouring homes and overwhelm the district storm water management system,” Campbell says.
“I can list ten properties on Carmel Place that have flooding issues. We sit quote low here and 24 homes is an issue,” she says.
Stephane Perron, another BOATA director, said he counted the number of homes and lots on Judd Road, leading up to the new subdivision.
There were around 26, two more than the number of homes Wood wants to put in one single lot.
“With just one development, we are doubling the density here,” Perron said.
The subdivision, he added, is far from transit, schools, and commercial centres, an antithesis of oft-touted Smart Growth on the Ground principles.
“We will have people driving just to get milk,” he said.
Even though the possibility of another 25-40 cars worries BOATA directors, pedestrian traffic is their biggest concern for traffic.
A 2006 study by an engineer found that although Judd Road was a typical rural road for cars, it wasn’t so for pedestrians.
Developer Wood says he has the answers for all the questions.
In the past one year, he has conducted as many as ten meetings, he said.
“I’m open to having a community consultation meeting with residents to address their concern,” he said.
Wood said it’s pertinent to mention that he’s only developing 40 per cent of what is allowed. He is allowed to put 68 units, but he is only putting in 24.
“You won’t find a lot of developments in Squamish where the as much as one-third of space has been left for as a green space,” he added.
On flood water management, Wood said the development would have two underground water tanks, and the water would also be directly diverted into a culvert that would pump it out to Judd slew.
Further, he said paths along the lanes won’t be paved to allow the ground to be permeable.
“We won’t have any net increase on the town’s drain water system,” he said.
He also said a 2006 traffic study has found out that the Judd Road was underutilised for vehicular traffic. That is the reason the district hasn’t required him to do another traffic study.
He said the district of Squamish has been extremely cooperative with him, and he is open to questions from Brackendale residents.
Wood said he is hoping to convene a community town hall meeting with the residents soon.