OPINION: Campground development is a mistake

Developing the WhistlePunk Hollow Adventure RV park is a bad idea.

Anthem Properties wants to build a suite of condos, townhomes, a childcare facility, and commercial and retail space on this lot, but it’s not the right place for this kind of development.

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This is one of many development proposals that will come before council in the coming months and years as the District looks for ways to increase housing options for an influx of newcomers.

But not every proposal will be in the right place at the right time or will be the best deal for Squamish.

This is one of the few areas the District has designated to be used as a campground.

When Squamish looks at its available housing options in the future, we don’t want to be stuck in a situation where all the homes are the same kind. A flexible, diverse range of housing stock is necessary if we are going to accommodate different people of different lifestyles and economic situations.

Getting rid of the RV park will remove this type of housing for some people who, for whatever reason, have chosen to live in an RV.

This land isn’t zoned for a massive development, it’s zoned as a campground. The District has no obligation to accommodate the developer’s request to cash-in on this sweet deal. If it’s going to be turned into a residential development, there needs to be more diverse housing options than what it already offers.

Not only will redevelopment take homes away from some current long-term residents, it will aggravate the illegal camping problem that already exists.

In the past months, some residents have noted an increase in RVs and vans parked on city streets, some complaining of added traffic, or of the “eyesore” of just looking at these vehicles parked on their streets.

Taking away RV parking spots means there will be more RVs and vans parked on Squamish side streets if they can’t find somewhere to park legally, something that’s already proven to be an issue here.

The RV park is also a place for short-term camping. As illegal camping seems to be a problem for Squamish, it will only get worse if we remove the campgrounds we already have.

We need more RV parking and camping spots, not less.

It’s Squamish, a known hot spot for camping in the Lower Mainland.

Let this land remain a campground.

Let’s let the people who want to live in RVs live in peace, and not add them to host of those already evicted in the region.

Council should not pass this zoning request. We can do better than this.

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