Not all Squamish councillors are pumped on temporary plans for a municipally owned waterfront lot.
In April, the District of Squamish acquired an industrially zoned Mamquam Blind Channel waterfront parcel through a provincial government program. While district staff and CN Rail discuss public access agreements to allow people to cross the tracks, municipal staff tagged the downtown property for a dirt pump track for use by BMX bicycles.
But, not all councillors are feeling the flow.
“Temporary” facilities have a tendency to become permanent, Coun. Doug Race said. The lot, beside Loggers Lane between Victoria and Main streets, is valued at an estimated $3.6 million, far more valuable than the 20 acres in the industrial park that the district sold for $8 million last year, he noted.
“I am concerned about putting [a pump track] on a waterfront property because it is not a waterfront activity,” he said.
A recent district consumer survey highlighted Squamish residents’ desire for more ocean-based activities and the waterfront lot provides a key starting point, Race said. He noted he’s not against pump tracks, but said such facilities could be placed on less prominent parcels.
All the little improvements throughout the community add up, Coun. Patricia Heintzman said, before highlighting the district’s downtown initiatives, including its summer events series. With the wheels rolling, transformation will happen more quickly, she said.
“I think a pump track is a great way to start,” Heintzman said.
District staff will present the proposed plan to officials at Committee of the Whole on Oct. 1.