By Gagandeep Ghuman
Published: Nov. 7, 2012
Coun. Susan Chapelle and Patricia Heintzman voted against giving second reading to a proposed drive-thru bank and restaurant on Garibaldi Way.
Formerly a bulk fuelling station, the lot is located at the intersection of Garibaldi Way and Government Road.
Chapelle said a bank on this location contravenes OCP policies of having financial and commercial institutions in downtown Squamish.
She voiced concern over pollution caused by vehicles idling at the drive-thru bank or driving to Garibaldi estates to access the bank.
Drive-thru restaurants on highway deter people from coming into town, she added.
“I want people to drive in our town, not drive-thru it,” she said.
“This is wrong on so many levels, I can’t support it.”
Heintzman was by her side, saying she was generally not supportive of drive-thru establishments.
She spoke little, however, reminding council that it shouldn’t voice such determined views before a public hearing has taken place.
Coun. Ron Sander was determined to voice his support for the plan, dismissing Chapelle’s concerns over increased pollution.
“This is about economic development, here is someone who is investing in our community, and creating jobs,” Sander said.
Sander said an equal amount of pollution could be caused by someone driving from Garibaldi Highlands all the way to downtown to access the bank services.
In lock-step with Sander, Mayor Rob Kirkham said it would be unfair to allow one bank in the area, while denying another.
He said a major bank has chosen to invest in the community, and it should be welcomed.
Kirkham also noted there is rarely a line-up at the existing drive-thru bank in town.
Coun. Ted Prior was supportive of the proposal, but was concerned with a proposed stop-sign on Government Road.
“There is going to be a lot of cranky people on that road,” he said.
The proponents have suggested the following road improvements:
• Conversion of the Garibaldi-Way and Government Rd intersection from a one-way stop to a three-way stop
• Addition of a left-hand turning lane off Garibaldi Way south onto Government Rd
• Addition of a right-hand turning lane off Garibaldi Way north onto Government Rd
Bike paths and a sidewalk along Garibaldi Way are also being proposed.
A public hearing is set for Nov. 20 in the council chamber.