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Squamish Canyon passes final rezoning obstacle

District council adopted a bylaw that would allow the project to proceed
squamish-canyon
A rendering of the proposed Squamish Canyon.

The controversial Squamish Canyon project that garnered much debate across the community has jumped its last rezoning hurdle.

On Jan. 19, council voted unanimously in favour of adopting a rezoning bylaw that would allow the tourist attraction to be built.

This will rezone land currently classified as residential RS-1 and groundwater protection P-6 at the end of Mamquam River Forest Service Road by the Powerhouse Springs area.

The project, whose proponent is local Robin Sherry, is expected to bring 800 metres of elevated boardwalk and roughly 200 metres of canyon walkway to Mamquam Falls.

The proposal includes washrooms, a children’s play area, a concession stand and a small stage, among other things.

Following that first stage of development, a second phase will add two bridges over the canyon, as well as additional elevated boardwalks with lookout platforms.

Rezoning is generally the greatest obstacle that a project has to face. The next step will be for the municipality to review development and building permits.

Squamish Canyon’s rezoning hearing drew a standing-room-only crowd last year.

Those against the project cited environmental impacts, traffic, dust, noise and proximity to houses as problems.

On the other hand, those in favour said the project’s tenure over the area will prevent the province from logging the land.

They argued it would be the smarter way to develop the area while still preserving its natural qualities.