This letter was sent to Mayor Greg Gardner and copied to The Chief for publication
It was wonderful to see the vast preparations that have gone in to making sure the new development on the waterfront lands in Squamish is suitable, accessible and enjoyable for all Squamish residents.
For the record, I am for the development. I think the mix of residential, hotel, knowledge based, commercial and parkland are in ideal ratios to satisfy locals, visitors and both new and existing business, as well as support the continued growth of Squamish as a vibrant and attractive town.
During the last presentation there were a few points brought up that remind me of the all-request hour on the radio.
Everyone wants to hear their favourite song, and maybe the reason it isn't played more on the radio is that it isn't everyone's favourite song.
There must always be a balance.
Many of the questions or comments - with the exception of the canoe club, the windsurfing club representative and the gentleman that opened with "When can you start?" -were very narrow, possibly selfish in nature.
And although relevant and timely, they indicated that the thoughts of the vocal contingent in our community are of a short term nature.
This development is touted to be at a minimum a 20-year endeavour during which continued community support, interaction and consultation will obviously occur.
For instance, the thought of building more housing units in the current state of occupancy may not be considered to be a wise investment.
But keep in mind that house builders are business people and if there is no market, they would be poor business people if they built under such conditions.
Maybe in 10 years there will be a need for more houses - if there is money to be made building houses, they will be built.
To stop building houses because there are 10 units left in a development that are unsold and no new ones are built until they are sold defeats the purpose of "the market," which can artificially suppress or inflate house prices.
The arts was the other main talking point in the presentation and many of the comments indicated that the arts should be showcased and not stuck in the back corner where no one could enjoy them.
I believe the presenter indicated that specific locations are still yet to be determined and that the possibility of a gallery in the main floor of the hotel would be ideal, which was also a negative in the eyes of the artists who feel it would be an eyesore.
I am a windsurfer who spends much of my summer on the beach at Nexen and I have yet to see a single artist painting, sculpting or acting, but I do believe everyone needs a place to practice their passion, whether it be sports, arts, learning or living.
I believe this is a very exciting time for Squamish and planning needs to be the cornerstone that the community expands from.
Members of our council I believe are very, very aware of the needs of our community today and for the future, and I applaud them for their efforts, diligence and foresight.