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Developing Squamish: 26-unit townhouse complex slated for Government Road

In a 6-0 vote, Squamish council approved the third reading of a small townhouse development after no one spoke at the public hearing.

Following a public hearing that saw no one come forward, District of Squamish council members subsequently passed the third reading of  rezoning that will allow for a relatively small Government Road development.

A public hearing was held in council chambers on Jan. 16 for a 26-unit townhouse development on 40279 Government Rd., but no one from the public came forward. Council members subsequently passed the third reading of the bylaw by a 6-0 vote. 

While there is still adoption of the bylaw  before the project is official, the last step is almost always a certainty.

Coun. John French declared a conflict of interest prior to the public hearing and did not take part in the hearing or reading vote, as he stated a person in connection to the ownership of the property made a financial contribution to his election campaign.

“This is an excellent use of this area,” said Mayor Armand Hurford. “This is an area that is central to services and I think makes a lot of sense for a development such as this.”

The development is across Government Road from Mamquam Elementary and is just south of the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw (Squamish Nation) Kowtain 17 Reserve. The lot currently sits empty as a previous building was destroyed by a fire. 

The new development is proposed to have 21 three-bedroom units and five units that are two-bedroom plus a den.

Given the proximity to Nation land, District planner Bryan Daly reported to council that representatives for the band relayed that it was comfortable with the development at this time and would like to be informed of ongoing processes.

“I trust that all the referrals to the Nation will continue and that this development—not just in its finished form but in its construction phase—will be a good neighbour to our friends at the Squamish Nation,” said Hurford.

The lot is split by the CN rail line into a 1.5-hectare western section and a 0.58-hectare eastern section. The proponent, Gary Dhaliwal, proposes to donate the western portion of the property to the District as part of its community amenity contribution (CAC) for active transportation and parks. 

Previously, Daly said this portion of land is environmentally sensitive and is likely best to be left as it is. About $500,000 will also be paid as a CAC in lieu of critical amenities as well as a commitment to be powered by electricity.

Several council members were intrigued to see if there were creative opportunities that could be had with the donated western parcel. Moreover, Coun. Eric Andersen noted there is a history of agricultural use in the area.

“This parcel to be dedicated to the District does have its environmental constraints, but there is a history of agricultural use here. Maybe there's a future as well,” he said.

A couple members noted that during the development permit phase they hoped to see traffic considerations for entering and exiting the area.

“In particular, traffic management in-and-out of that corner directly in the school zone, I think, is one of the biggest concerns for this particular parcel. And just make sure how we ensure that there's safe access for pedestrians, bikes as well as cars,” said Coun. Jenna Stoner.

For more information about the proposal, view the District report on the Jan. 16 council meeting agenda at


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