The District is considering altering the zoning in the business park to create amenities that aim to make it a more attractive place to work.
If it succeeds, the rezoning would change conditions of the existing I-9 light industrial zone.
It would allow personal service establishment as a permitted use, which would allow limited commercial activity intended to serve the needs of employees in the business park.
The rationale is that if services such as health clinics or vets were available in the area, this would remove the need for employees to drive to downtown or the Garibaldi commercial centre.
There would also be a provision that allows for more office space, as staff note there is still a shortage of this activity in Squamish. These spaces are intended to be "minor" office spaces that are not used day-to-day by the public, but rather employment spaces for consulting firms, software and high tech firms, and research and development companies, among others.
"I do note that the data that we have, the analysis, the surveys that we've done, do show a shortage of business office minor spaces...and the demand is clearly there," Coun. Eric Andersen said.
Finally, it would restrict restaurants to the current area they already occupy.
"This zoning's so weird because we are not trying to steal uses from downtown or Garibaldi Village area; we are trying to support the businesses that are in this park," said Mayor Karen Elliott.
"They need some services too to make it a desirable place to work and locate a business there without cannibalizing other uses that we wanted downtown and in the Garibaldi Village area."
Coun. Jenna Stoner said that she supported first reading, but would like more clarity on what is allowed, versus what will be allowed under the proposal.
This issue will be back before council at a future date.