New downtown Squamish building gets the green light

The six-storey Aegean was unanimously approved by council

A new six-storey mixed-use building dubbed The Aegean has been given the go-ahead.

On Nov. 5, councillors voted unanimously in favour of granting a development permit for the downtown building, which will be located at 1360 Victoria Street.

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The permit has been issued to numbered company 1158307 B.C. LTD.

The Aegean will offer two storeys of office and commercial space fronting Victoria Street and Second Avenue, while the remaining four storeys would consist of 32 residential units. A two-storey parking garage will house vehicles.

This would be the second time the proposed development has appeared before council for a development permit.

"I think the additional information that's come forward has been helpful," said Coun. Jenna Stoner. "The changes that were made for the outdoor covered space, I think, are really positive and put us closer to where the intent was with [development] guidelines."

Previously, in September, council turned it down, asking for a number of changes to be addressed, while stating that there were some discrepancies between the design and the municipality's development area guidelines.

Councillors asked that some outdoor space be covered.

To this end, a staff report says the applicant will cover 325 square feet of outdoor space with architectural canvas.

Mayor Karen Elliott previously expressed concern about whether the building could block people's view of some well-loved landmarks.

This time around, a staff report provided more detail on how the views of the Stawamus Chief would be impacted.

The report states, for example, that the building will have an impact on the view of the Chief from the sidewalk along Victoria Street, though this view is already partially obstructed by the Cornerstone building at 37989 Cleveland Avenue.

The report also says that the proposed development will frame, rather than block, the views of Mount Garibaldi from Second Avenue looking northeast.

Those looking from the playground area of Stan Clarke Park already have obscured views of Mount Garibaldi as a result of trees, so the building will have little impact on sightlines there, the report says.

People generally travel through Stan Clarke Park in an east-west in nature, and the view of the Stawamus Chief appears to be the main feature, a sight that will not be impacted by this development, staff say.

Council also previously questioned whether the development would meet the municipality's energy efficiency guidelines for that area.

One of the guidelines suggests that buildings be designed to reduce the amount of sun exposure at the peak of summer to reduce the need for artificial cooling, such as air conditioning.

The recent report to council says the developers have, among other things, proposed shade screens on the second storey, and on the first storey, a setback below a canopy provides sun protection.

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