Skip to content

ICYMI: Developing Squamish: Five-storey mixed-use building in downtown clears a hurdleI

By a 4-1 vote, council opted to move a project at Cleveland and Winnipeg to be considered for three readings at a regular business meeting.

A mixed-used development may finally come to an empty lot in downtown Squamish, but many steps are still needed before it becomes a sure thing.

By a 4-1 vote at the Feb. 13 committee of the whole meeting, present council members approved moving a five-storey project at 38108 Cleveland Ave. to be considered for three readings at a future regular business meeting. Coun. Lauren Greenlaw was opposed to the motion, while Mayor Armand Hurford and Coun. Jenna Stoner were absent from the meeting as they attended a provincial housing summit.

The applicant, Lexi Development Group, is proposing the building at the northeast corner of the Cleveland Avenue and Winnipeg Street intersection, which used to be a gas station until the 1990s, said Bryan Daly, a planner with the District of Squamish. Notably, a proposal at this same location by the same proponent was previously defeated by a previous council in 2021, according to Daly.

“I support this iteration of the building massing and the setbacks. I feel that it’s time to let this patient developer get moving on this project,” said Coun. John French. “The amount of commercial space has increased [and] the residential units are going to be rentals, which are needed. So, I’m ready to see some action at this long-suffering empty lot in this key downtown intersection.”

The first storey of the building is proposed as commercial space, the second as parking, and the remaining storeys will house 23 residential units. All of the units will be either market or affordable rentals, with 20 two- or three-bedroom units to be market rentals and three one-bedroom units to be affordable rentals

Coun. Eric Andersen said he was “pleased” with the current presentation and reflected on the defeated 2021 application.

“Collectively, we sent this development applicant on a two-and-a-half year journey, an onerous one, perhaps stressful with unclear expectations,” he said. “We need to all learn some lessons from this.”

“It’s important for us in our relations with people who want to invest in our downtown and invest in housing supply for Squamish, that this process be one that’s clear to all of us and working well for all of us.”

The application wasn’t without some concerns from council members, including a desire to see a no-gas covenant in the commercial space alongside the residential units and the building’s aesthetic fronting Loggers Lane.

In her feedback about the massing—the form or shape of the structure—and setbacks, Greenlaw said they seemed “reasonable” for the lot and even thought it was about the best it could be. But, overall, her comments grappled with Squamish’s bigger picture.

“I’m having a hard time supporting all of these developments that are coming through because I feel as though we’re reaching a point where we’re struggling as a community to keep up with this level of population growth,” she said. “And I find that that aspect does not often make its way into these conversations, and I really struggle with that.”

If interested in learning more about the applicant, view the District’s report from the Feb. 13 council agenda.


push icon
Be the first to read breaking stories. Enable push notifications on your device. Disable anytime.
No thanks