I've been fooled by pretty pictures and dreamy talk before. It was the turbulent time of the late 90s when all the water cooler talk in Squamish revolved around the Downtown 2000 plan.
It was something to behold; vibrant streets bustling with activity and a welcoming landscape worthy of the gates at dawn. Five years later the pictures are being edited and revised and still nothing has been done.
Hence my hesitation to be swayed by the newest waterfront dreams being paraded before our eyes. The waterfront charette process called upon our community to put their collective heads together and figure out just what we want the downtown to look like.
The final vision is indeed a good one. Responsible development with lots of green space taking into account our amazing views, proper traffic flow and even wind minimization. Points of concern are that cost was never a consideration and most key players were not present at the process. But now that it's done, we're left with not so much a playbook for our waterfront but rather a bat we can use to club developers over the head with. I only hope it's big enough.
The next step in the waterfront dream lies with our newly created waterfront corporation. Whenever I hear the word "corporation", warning bells go off. It hasn't helped since hearing about the amazing new movie called The Corporation. The gist of the film is that in the eyes of the law a corporation is a "person". That person is then analyzed by actual diagnostic criteria using standard tools of psychiatrists and psychologists.
What emerges? Self-interested, amoral, callous and deceitful, a corporation's operational principles make it anti-social. It breaches social and legal standards while it mimics the human qualities of empathy, caring and altruism. It suffers no guilt. Diagnosis: a corporation fully meets all the criteria of a psychopath.
And now we have one in charge of our waterfront. Oh good.
But seeing as how the deal hasn't even been signed, all this is just more pretty pictures and flowery words that I simply can't get excited about.
What I can get excited about isn't talk but action. Like the serious action hitting our core. Over the last year, Second Avenue has definitely got its soul back. A ski shop, a snowboard and skate shop, not to mention adventure tours, and even a music store.
And if ever there was a sign that Squamish is moving in the right direction it would be the latest addition of an extra little spice on Second. That's right, a romance shop is now tastefully open for business and I for one welcome anyone bringing mind, body and soul to Squamish.
Bingo Alert: That's right kids, Bingo is back on the books at the council meeting this Tuesday at 7 p.m.. Do you want a bingo barn welcoming people downtown? This could be the best chance to make your opinion known. Stand up and be counted this Tuesday.