Squamish council cuts

New development at Dowad Drive. District asking for Brennan Park grant money.

New development at Dowad Drive

A new development will be going full steam ahead now that it has secured a housing agreement with council.

Earlier this year, the previous council gave W Dowad Ltd. a development permit for a four-storey commercial-residential building, at 1870 Dowad Drive, which is just north of the Executive Suites.

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The structure will house 14,346 square feet of commercial space at floor level and 37 residential apartment units above.

However, as part of the deal, the developer enters into a housing agreement that would ensure that two of those units would be maintained as affordable rental housing in perpetuity.

As of Dec. 4, that part of the bargain was adopted by council.

“I think we’re going have to make sure that we are asking for affordable units in all larger developments going forward,” said Mayor Karen Elliott.

“We have to work in partnership with the development industry to build the homes that our families and individuals here need. We still have a near-zero vacancy rate.”

Elliott noted that two units were a bit on the low side because the development passed through the previous council before the latest Community Amenity Contribution Policy had been finalized.

District asking for Brennan Park grant money

The District will be asking the province for about $8.47 million to fund a new wellness and art centre in Brennan Park Recreation Centre.

It’s one of several new areas that will be constructed as part of the centre’s proposed makeover.

The total cost of the project is about $11.6 million. The grant would cover close to three-quarters of the bill, so the District would be left to pay about $3.1 million if it gets the cash.

Coun. Jenna Stoner wondered what the tax implications might be if the District commits $3.1 million, which would likely be borrowed money.

Chief financial officer Christine Mathews replied it would require annual payments of $278,050 over 15 years to pay off the debt.

That could add up to about a one per cent tax increase, she said.

Coun. John French wondered if it would be possible to make the grant application for the new hockey rink first.

However, District staff said tackling the wellness and art centre would be most the cost-effective and flexible move.

The Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program, which is federally funded, but distributed by the provinces, makes this grant available.

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