District of Squamish council voted 4-3 to reject the extension of town’s growth boundaries and to amend the OCP to designate Cheema Lands as “Residential Neighbourhood”.
The proposal was opposed by Mayor Karen Elliott and Councillors Doug Race, Chris Pettingill and Jenna Stoner.
The proposal was supported by Councilors Eric Andersen, John French and Armand Hurford.
Mayor Karen Elliott said an approval would set a dangerous precedence of allowing growth outside the Growth Management Boundary set by the OCP.
Councilors who opposed the proposal cited an OCP policy which states that district should ensure all growth within the Growth Management Boundaries be realized before considering expansion.
Commenting on this specific policy, staff noted that substantial residential infill hasn’t happened, although growth was underway in Downtown Squamish.
In opposing the motion, Mayor Elliott said there were several projects such as Oceanfront and Cheekeye, Redbridge, etc. that had yet to be completed.
“To me the OCP was a very strong indication that growth should be managed and these polices were put in place, especially to make sure that we were using the land to its best use and form in the footprint we occupy rather than sprawling,” she said.
Coun. Doug Race said he wasn’t happy with the proposal.
“We have very significant undeveloped lands within the boundaries, I don’t think we need this, and we need to direct majority of development to existing neighborhood areas,” Race said.
Coun. Jenna Stoner also echoed their sentiment, saying the community was nowhere near the infill development required to consider expanding the boundaries.
Coun. Armand Hurford supported the motion and said he would like to know what the community thought of the proposal.
Councillors John French and Eric Andersen also supported the motion.
“This will be many years before any shovels get into the ground. It would be closer to 2027 and we will continue infill in our neighbourhood,” French said.