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Public speaks out on monster homes bylaw

Sylvie Paillard [email protected] Council for the District of Squamish held a public hearing Tuesday (April 18) on the low-density residential zoning amendment bylaw proposed to regulate the size of homes in Squamish.

Sylvie Paillard

[email protected]

Council for the District of Squamish held a public hearing Tuesday (April 18) on the low-density residential zoning amendment bylaw proposed to regulate the size of homes in Squamish.

Five residents approached the podium to express dissatisfaction with the bylaw. Stéphane Perron of Brackendale asked for clarification on the base line that would determine height requirements and what staff had considered for sloped lots.

He also asked about the proposed cap to floor area ratios, which the bylaw doesn't state.

"It would be good to have that discussion before it passed," he said.

Paula Frank of Garibaldi Highlands said new homes around her have blocked her view and she cannot expand if council passes the bylaw.

Herbert Vesely of Raven's Plateau said secondary suites carriage homes allowed in the bylaw would change the neighbourhood. He also said the district hasn't had enough public information and consultation.

Wilf Dowad said the bylaw would create expensive housing. Land assessments will go down because "what you can build on it is the value," he said.

Terrill Patterson of Government Road said the bylaw was drawn too hastily. He pointed out that residential zoning bylaws don't apply to developers because they're regulated under comprehensive bylaws.

This causes a substantial advantage to developers who can build twice as much floor space on lots two thirds of the size. He also targeted the amendment that forces home builders to stagger second and third stories. "The act doesn't give you the right to design," said Patterson. He also said it was a racist bylaw since it seemed to target the Indo Canadian population, but that since Coun. Raj Kahlon supported it, that community must have come to an agreement. Kahlon said he resented the comments.

"I was elected by the community of Squamish," said Kahlon. "I've worked so hard for the last 20 years to harmonize the community. Don't try to divide the community."

Mayor Ian Sutherland read the motion to hold a third reading of the bylaw. Sutherland said the bylaw was a "very important first step" and the evening's suggestions would be applied to future bylaw discussions.

Coun. Corinne Lonsdale said that extensive studies have shown overwhelming support for this form of bylaw. The motion was unanimously carried.

Council invites auditor to city hall

Council debated the merits of having municipal auditor George Cuff visit with staff and council for a one or two day discovery session at a cost of $5,000 or $10,000. Coun. Mike Jenson, who brought forward the initial motion to invite Cuff, said spending $5,000 would be worthwhile. Lonsdale said she'd prefer the $10,000 package, which would result in a report.

Coun. Patricia Heintzman also supported the two-day audit.

Sutherland said a two-day report won't find "real information" and would only lead to another $40,000 audit."I think council is best to make the decisions," he said. "That's what we're here for."

Lonsdale said information from the GCB Management Corporate Review website, provided by Heintzman, shed light on ways council can learn from Cuff. Coun. Jeff McKenzie made a motion to defer the decision and revisit what council wants from Cuff. The motion passed with Heintzman opposed.

Council proclaimsNational Day of Mourning

Council heard a delegation from Sandy Bauer of the Squamish and District Labour Committee who requested council proclaim April 28 as Day of Mourning.

On Sunday, April 30 at 10:40 a.m., a group will gather at the memorial monument at the pavilion to mourn the loss of workers' lives.

Council to appoint youth council

As part of the youth week proclamation, Sutherland put forward a motion to organize a youth council that would meet monthly and bring concerns and recommendations to Squamish council. The motion was passed unanimously.Council considers fish protection

District environmental coordinator Chessy Knight presented a report updating council on the district's current fish protection status. Knight recommended that council support continued application of the Streamside Protection Regulation (SPR) standards in the district until such time as the district completes its environmental review process and considers amendments to its bylaws, or adopts new bylaws to embed standards for the management of riparian areas, or until such time as the district's concerns with the provincial Riparian Areas Regulation (RAR) are resolved. Kahlon made a motion to review the recommendation in two weeks to allow council time to study the issue. The motion to defer passed with McKenzie and Sutherland opposed.

Unsightlypremises addressed

Protection services director Cliff Doherty made a recommendation that council order the enforcement of unsightly premises bylaw on two properties: 37803 Second Ave. and a rural lot on Squamish Valley Road. A motion to pass the recommendation was unanimously carried.

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