The District of Squamish plans to do a geospatial assessment of the district’s current and future land use. Staff is applying to the province for a grant to help enable a ‘Neighbourhood Node’ analysis of the community.
This mapping project will include existing housing and employment space in local neighbourhoods and current walking and biking infrastructure. The assessment will help determine actions such as creating or expanding transit, new bike and pedestrian paths, housing density, retail land use and increase in employment space.
According to a District report, the project intends to build on a prototype SPLIT Model (Squamish Planning Land Insights Tool) that will analyze present and future residential land use, employment space, and demographic scenarios. This was previously put on hold due to resource constraints.
“This project will provide an evidence-based approach to mapping the strengths, opportunities, and challenges of our existing neighbourhoods through the lenses of housing diversity, access to daily needs, and alternative transportation options, both independently and about one another,” the report notes.
If the Province grants the funds, the district plans to start working on the project through 2024 and finalize a report by May 2025. $100,000 from the grant will fund a temporary GIS technician position, and $50,000 will go towards a planning consultant.
“Identifying how housing, transportation, employment, and access to daily needs can be optimized for all neighbourhoods will be fundamental to guiding Official Community Plan (OCP) and other policy changes and zoning amendments,” the district says.
At a meeting tomorrow, staff will ask the council to endorse a funding application to the Union of B.C. Municipalities under the 2023-2024 Complete Communities Program to undertake this Neighbourhood Node Analysis.