garibaldi at squamish 

Garibaldi resort wants B.C. approval now The Squamish ski resort-in-waiting wants conditional Environmental Assessment approval so resort planners can get on with more detailed and technical planning. A conditional approval certificate for Garibaldi at Squamish would allow it to get back into the Commercial Alpine Skiing Policy master planning and public approvals process that is specifically created for proposed developments like this. People in the Squamish area want some good economic news, says Garibaldi chairman Wolfgang Richter. A conditional approval would do that. "It is important for all that the province sends a strong signal to both the local community and the investment community abroad that British Columbia is open for business," Richter says. "The opportunity to proceed into the detailed CASP review — as opposed to continuing in the more conceptual Environmental Assessment review — would avoid duplication of work and allow the proposal to proceed sooner," explains a press release from Garibaldi at Squamish. But a conditional approval doesn’t fit with the Environmental Assessment policy. Under that policy the Environmental Assessment office must make a recommendation within 40 days of the closing of the public review period, which occurred March 27. Under the Environmental Assessment Act the office can recommend approval of the proposal, reject it, or move to Stage 2 of the Environmental Assessment process, where more studies will be required. Earlier this year the District of Squamish requested that Stage 1 be extended for an additional nine months to address concerns raised during the public review period. A decision on the extension request is expected soon. Two other proposed mountain resorts — Al Raine's Cayoosh and Oberto Oberti's Jumbo Glacier — have been mired in the Environmental Assessment process for years, says Richter. A poll conducted for the resort proponents says 90 per cent of Squamish residents and 85 per cent of Whistlerites approve of the proposed resort. Getting into a CASP review commits the province to work with the proposed resort for one year to get the project one step closer to the first shovel striking the ground with the signing of a master development agreement. Garibaldi says it also wants to continue with its public consultation program, including ongoing discussions with First Nations peoples, whose involvement is seen as an integral component of the company's over-all business strategy.

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