A downtown Squamish housing and office development has passed most of its hurdles to becoming a reality.
On March 15, council voted unanimously in favour of third reading of a rezoning application for a proposed development known as The Dogwoods to be located at 37781 and 37799 Second Avenue.
After a short presentation and public hearing, which saw Cameron Cope, managing director of proponent ReGen Homes, speak on behalf of the development and one other downtown resident also voice support, council voted to move ahead to final adoption.
“The Dogwoods is an innovative, mixed-use building that complements the neighbourhood’s creative roots,” said Cope.
ReGen Homes seeks to rezone the light industrial I-1 land to creative MUD-2 zone. Changing to a MUD-2 zone would allow for the proposed four-storey, mixed-use building.
The building would feature 20 apartment units on the top two floors, two storeys of office space and a public use area on the second floor above enclosed parking. An art mural will be located on the east-facing side. Additionally, the project will be constructed to a net-zero or equivalent energy efficiency standard and no natural gas will be used in any of the units within the building.
Moreover, four of the 20 apartment units would be required to be rented at market prices: two one-bedroom, a two-bedroom and a three-bedroom.
“To be perfectly frank, this one is an easy one for me and easier than many decisions that we face,” said Coun. Doug Race, adding that the multifunctions and imagination piqued his support.
“I think this building will fit in very well there, so I am happy to support this.”
Coun. Jenna Stoner commented that the net-zero energy standard, no gas covenant, rainwater retention and reuse system, as well as providing level two electric vehicle chargers for all residential parking spots were additions that are built towards the future.
“Thanks to the proponent for their creativity, for staff on advancing the file, and I look forward to seeing it being built,” she said.
Coun. John French also believed the building was designed to take into account environmental impacts moving forward.
“This project represents for me the future of development and moving it forward is the appropriate thing to do. I believe we’ll look back on this project in the future and agree that this building lifted the bar in Squamish,” he said.
“I expect this building will inspire other developers to rethink their construction plans.”
“We talk about building for the future, but our future is now,” said Mayor Karen Elliott. “And so absolutely, this building sets the bar.”
Final adoption of the rezoning will be brought forward at a future council meeting.