BC Hydro gets the go ahead for building 

Council briefs: SLRD amendment; bylaw for developers; talking to feds about internet and marijuana

click to enlarge PHOTO BY JOEL BARDE - NEW DIGS BC Hydro provided some samples of material it will use to build its new Aster Street building.
  • Photo by Joel Barde
  • NEW DIGS BC Hydro provided some samples of material it will use to build its new Aster Street building.

The construction of a new BC Hydro building on Aster Street has received the go-ahead from Village of Pemberton council.

BC Hydro — which already operates out of the site — first came to council in the summer about the project, which is essentially a large-scale renovation of an existing building. The new structure will include a new field office building and a covered storage area that will allow larger trucks to use the site.

For VOP Mayor Mike Richman, making sure the look of the building is appealing was important. The site is on the outskirts of VOP's downtown core.

"We feel that they've made some good efforts — from the materials they used to the lighting." In addition, the building will feature extensive landscaping and an art wall that will feature local artists, he noted.

"There are benefits to the village that we've tried to maximize," he said, noting that it was a difficult decision.

SLRD amendment

VOP council voted to support an amendment to the Squamish Lillooet Regional District's growth management strategy.

The amendment will remove "destination resort language" from the district's growth strategy. The move is opposed by Garibaldi at Squamish — a developer who hopes to build a four-season resort just outside of Squamish — and the Squamish Nation, which has a benefits' agreement with the developer.

Both project proponents sent letters to council asking it not support the amendment.

For Richman, the amendment will help the SLRD carry out better urban planning.

"GAS is definitely impacted by this decision, but this is about the region in general and how we look at development.

"We're seeing so much development in the Sea to Sky corridor and the whole region, that we want to make sure that development is suitable to our area," he said.

Development bylaw

VOP also reviewed and voted to move forward a proposed bylaw for developers.

The "site alteration bylaw" will serve as a comprehensive guide for developers, whether they are operating on single-family lots or large-scale properties.

"We have seen over the years, where a developer will come in with good intentions, put unsightly material on the site, and then pull their plans back for a while. And two years later, you're still looking at a pile of dirt," said Richman.

"We want to make sure that doesn't happen anywhere in the village boundary," he said.  

The bylaw will guard against invasive species and unsightly material.

"It gives us a little more control, as opposed to 'you own the lot now, off you go, do what you want with it.'"

The bylaw will need an additional reading before it is passed.

Talking to MP Goldsmith-Jones

Council also discussed an upcoming phone call Richman is set to have with Pamela Goldsmith-Jones, MP for the West Vancouver-Sunshine Coast-Sea to Sky Country riding.

Goldsmith-Jones and Richman will discuss ongoing efforts to bring better internet service to Pemberton.

"The goal is to provide high-speed connectivity to our residents at the cheapest possible rates. That's what we're trying to work out with all these providers," said Richman.  

Council also decided to have Richman discuss marijuana taxation and revenue sharing with Goldsmith-Jones. It would like to see municipalities receive a third of pot taxes.

"We feel local governments should get its portion of marijuana sales," said Richman.

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