Squamish council to develop position on G@S 

Squamish council recently moved to formulate a position on the controversial Garibaldi at Squamish (G@S) resort development currently moving through the province’s environmental assessment apparatus, although an official stand will not be taken before a public information session scheduled for May 15.

“We’ve been working on this more or less on the corners of our desk,” said chief administrative officer Kim Anema during an afternoon strategy session last week. “And we’ve also explained that some of the (proponent’s) planning is contrary to our principles relative to urban sprawl, relative to compact communities, relative to Smart Growth.”

According to Anema, district staff has received 13 tomes of information from the proponent, but crucial information is still missing. Specifically, Anema would like to see a physical impact study, as well as a socio-economic impact study.

While acknowledging that the proponent has provided some information in this vein, Anema said the focus has so far not included the actual community of Squamish; rather, it’s been more about the Cat Lake and Brohm Ridge development areas.

“It’s difficult to develop a position on the project in the absence of this information, in the absence of what this impact will be,” said Anema.

And so council moved to schedule the May 15 cram session for 7 p.m. at Brennan Park. Also included in that motion was a directive for staff to write a letter to the province saying the district has yet to take a position.

Councillor Corinne Lonsdale worried that the province may assume the district is in favour of the development thanks to previous missives written and filed about a decade ago, when a previous incarnation of G@S was on the agenda. Lonsdale said she’s received a deluge of e-mail correspondence from the community on the topic.

“It’s not rocket science,” she said of the project proposal. “It just doesn’t make sense. Until this council does take a position with the province, we’re going to keep getting e-mails.”

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