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Coalition willing to help

EDITOR, The District of Squamish has released a report (Core Service Review, or CSR) summarizing several functional issues within its planning department.


The District of Squamish has released a report (Core Service Review, or CSR) summarizing several functional issues within its planning department. They have also delivered an accompanying summary of actions they will execute to resolve these issues. Their goal is to ultimately repair the reputation of the DOS and make Squamish a place where the homebuilders and the development community want to do business. The intention of this letter is to acknowledge the commitment the DOS has made to moving forward, repairing its reputation and to state our position, which is to fully support their goal as a group with a vested interest in a positive outcome to this process.

On behalf of the Coalition of Tradespeople and Homebuilders for an Effective Squamish City Hall, and based on our interpretation of the stated objectives in their CSR such as "ensuring that process times are reduced and policies are applied consistently" and that they will "explore third-party dispute resolution," we are encouraged that DOS is moving closer to addressing three of the four recommendations our coalition has put forward since forming in the fall of 2011. These recommendations are: 1. Secure guaranteed response times within the development process. 2. Issue unchanging project criteria. 3. Implement an independent ombudsman or committee to mediate when issues arise between parties. Our fourth recommendation, regarding respecting the sanctity of third reading, has not been addressed, though we are optimistic that this will be considered by the task force of builders and developers CAO Kevin Ramsay has stated will be assembled.

Collectively our group has over a century of trades and building experience. We remain committed to working with the DOS to support their goals as stated above. To that end we are pleased to announce that the coalition is prepared to offer the energies and expertise of two of our members to volunteer to the task force and have delivered this offer to Kevin Ramsay. We have also been in touch with the Urban Development Institute and they too have agreed to send two members to sit with us on the task force. Sea To Sky Home Builders Association is currently considering whether they will also send two members. The aggregate expertise of the people who are prepared to volunteer their time to help resolve these issues and reinvigorate the Squamish economy is very substantial. The fact is we care about the community as a whole and its wellbeing. There is every reason Squamish should be one of the most sought-after communities in the Lower Mainland to live and play in. Home values should not be going down, but up. We look forward to working with the DOS to resolve the outstanding issues so that the economy and the reputation of the DOS can be restored in the very near future. Rishi Dhir

Spokesperson, Coalition of Tradespeople and Builders for Effective Squamish City Hall.


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