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Bailey Street development in Squamish clears another hurdle

Squamish council gave second reading to rezoning for the ‘Village on Bailey’ proposed development on the edge of downtown Squamish, paving the way for a future public hearing.
Map of the proposed 'Village on Bailey' development in downtown Squamish.

The District of Squamish (DOS) council has given second reading to rezoning for the ‘Village on Bailey’ proposed development on the edge of downtown Squamish, paving the way for a future public hearing.

The development would see 230 units and 10,000 square metres of commercial space built on the edge of downtown, wedged between Bailey Street and the railway along a corridor of undeveloped land divided into three lots.

At the May 9 regular council meeting, second reading was approved unanimously with two amendments added following lengthy discussion, with councillors requesting a no-gas covenant over the entire site, and changes to the maximum allowable building height for a parking garage to increase the amount of parking available if the developer chooses to provide more parking above what they proposed.

The two changes go with a raft of staff recommendations that the developer have plans for street connections to downtown and neighbouring roads (including potentially connecting Third Avenue to Buckley Avenue across the tracks); have a traffic impact assessment conducted and approved; provide a flood modelling report and environmental report; and ensure compliance with CN Rail development guidelines before the development progresses to the next stage, being another public hearing.

The development has long been in the pipeline, having first come before the DOS council in 2021 and having gone through two public hearings already in its journey towards approval. It received first reading in July 2023, at which councillors requested more information and work on affordable housing, more information on the proposed ‘hybrid theatre’ to be included in the development, and a revised phasing plan to secure community amenities and affordable housing.

Under the revised plan as supported on May 9, the development now includes 39 affordable units grouped into Lot A of the proposal -- which is the portion of land closest to Cleveland Avenue.

With revised phasing, the development is proposed to go ahead in a way that would allow the developer to anchor construction by first building 89 market units in Lot B as part of phase 1, before moving on to constructing the affordable housing in Lot A as phase 2, and then community amenities of childcare space, a hybrid theatre, and a public parkade in Lot A as phase 3, the remainder of market units (102 in total) in Lot C as phase 4, before finishing with nearly 10,000 square metres of commercial space in a final building on Lot A as phase 5, which will be located right on Cleveland Avenue.

According to staff, the manner of phasing “allows phase 1 to offset initial site and infrastructure upgrade costs, while delivering on key district amenities in phases 2 and 3.”

Upon questioning from council, staff added that the 102 market units in phase 4 were important to the overall development, so phases 2 and 3 were highly likely to be completed, while the commercial space in phase 5 is a critical component.

A major item of discussion at the meeting was the provision of a hybrid theatre in the development, which was presented would have between 300 to 325 seats and would be designed to accommodate large audiences attending a wide variety of public events or private functions. It would be privately owned, but the developer is proposing to ensure it is available to public groups.

All conditions as laid out in the staff recommendation must be met before a public hearing can be scheduled for further community engagement.

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