LETTER: Who benefits from Waterfront Landing amenity?

Regarding the Waterfront Landing Public amenity, I am concerned that our taxpayers are being given a bad deal under an agreement between the Waterfront Landing developer and the District regarding a public amenity package.

One amenity, as presently structured, will be a pedestrian lift bridge over the Mamquam Blind Channel that the District will have to operate and maintain in perpetuity.

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We ought to ask ourselves: Who will benefit? Is it the community or the developer? I submit it will be the developer for it will assist Bosa greatly in their marketing of the condos.

Of course, the people who buy there will also benefit but the greater community will pay for their short term benefit forever.

The District is on record as planning to extend the road from Waterfront Landing into downtown via a road bridge over the channel, providing a much needed second access from the highway into downtown.

Why not ask the developer for a cash contribution towards such a bridge, add a landscaped cycling and walking path and abandon the plan for a then redundant pedestrian lift bridge?

Nothing has been built yet so there may still be time to make this change. Voice your opinion by writing to council to ask them to re-visit an unfortunate decision by a past council.

Herbert Vesely

Squamish

***Editor’s note: The District of Squamish told The Chief that its development agreements can be modified with the consent of both parties (i.e. the District and the developer), which normally happens if the landowner/developer is requesting further development opportunities — rezoning.

“At the time this agreement was negotiated (2017), there were many benefits agreed to. These included the construction of affordable housing, rental housing, and a daycare. The benefits also included construction of public amenities/infrastructure including a waterfront park, the pedestrian bridge crossing to downtown, and road infrastructure which includes the Highway 99/Clarke Road intersection, CN Rail overpass and Laurelwood Road which will become a future second entrance to downtown, as well as public roads, sidewalks, bike lanes and trails. District of Squamish council reviewed and considered these benefits in detail during the rezoning process,” the District said in an emailed statement to The Chief.

“Several will become public property and will be managed and maintained by the District, with costs offset by the future tax base resulting from the development.”

 

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