A new place to camp could be on its way to the Sea to Sky Corridor.
The Squamish-Lillooet Regional District (SLRD) board passed the first reading of a new campground adjacent to Porteau Cove Provincial Park.
On Sept. 27, the SLRD board members briefly heard a staff report of an application for a campground parallel to the existing Porteau Cove, nestled between the CN Rail line and Highway 99, with access to the site before crossing the rail line.
After a brief discussion, the board unanimously granted the first reading of the proposal. The project still needs a second and third reading, plus adoption from the board. It also needs Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure (MOTI) approval before becoming a sure thing.
“I’m quite excited to see this come forward,” said SLRD director and Squamish Mayor Armand Hurford, who added that he already had an opportunity to visit the site.
“This is a good project and I’d like to see this go forward,” said board chair and Whistler councillor Jen Ford.
The campground from applicant Paul Wood proposes 37 walk-in tent sites, seven tent or car camping sites, and 42 RV sites. With 86 new campsites, the proposal would more than double the camping available in the area, as Porteau Cove Provincial Park currently has about 60 campsites.
For the new proposal, one building is slated to have camper amenities on the ground floor—like a concession, laundry, showers and boat rentals—and 16 one-bedroom staff accommodations on the second and third floors. Other amenities would include picnic shelters, a playground, recreation and an off-leash dog area.
According to the drawings, the north end of the site would house the three-storey building, then campsites would come about as campers moved south through the site.
The short discussion between a few board members was about the proposed employee accommodation and assurances that it would be used for employees, not short-term accommodations.
“I'd like to see some kind of permitted use confirmation before second reading. I think that's really important for us to understand how 16 units will get used,” said Ford.
A senior planner for the SLRD, Claire Dewar, explained the current zoning bylaw would only permit the use of those units as employee housing for that specific campground or related individuals to the employee.
With the first reading completed, the project will be now sent for feedback to First Nations groups, the District of Squamish, MOTI, the Ministry of Forests, BC Parks, and Vancouver Coastal Health.
For more information about this proposal, visit slrd.bc.ca.