Squamish pod hotel project passes first two hurdles at council | Squamish Chief

Squamish pod hotel project passes first two hurdles at council

The District is seeking public feedback on Dec. 15 at hearing

Squamish may soon be home to the latest trend in hotels.

Pod, or capsule hotels, were first developed in Japan as a way to provide cheap, basic overnight accommodation for people on a budget.

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The rooms are often small bed-sized pods — hence the name.

A rezoning application that would allow a pod hotel to be built on 37773 Cleveland Avenue was unanimously given two readings by council on Nov. 3.

This means it will soon be going to public hearing, where residents can give input on the project.

If it succeeds, the rezoning would turn industrial I-3 land into a comprehensive development CD-97 zone to allow for the owner, Rodney Wilson, to develop a micro-hotel.

The project has previously appeared before council in July, but was denied readings due to concerns — especially regarding parking.

A staff report says that the project's proponent will be taking a number of steps to address the concern.

First, the website and marketing material will discourage individual travel by car and

advertise the walkability of Downtown Squamish, intra-community transportation alternatives and community trail networks.

The hotel will also reward travelers who use shared transportation with reduced nightly rates and packages for those not using personal vehicles.

The hotel will form a partnership with local transportation companies and provide a bike share program, among other things.

Council was more receptive this time around, but still voiced concerns about parking.

"I am very concerned with this proposal though with respect to the parking," said Coun. Doug Race.

"I just don't foresee a situation where people will be arriving — with a few exceptions — except by automobile and wondering where they will all go."

He said the area is already crowded, especially given the closeness of the Howe Sound Brewing as well as a new development being constructed in the area.

Coun. Chris Pettingill said he was interested in building businesses that aren't vehicle-dependent.

Mayor Karen Elliott said she supported the concept of a pod hotel and added she looked forward to public feedback on the matter.

The public hearing will take place on Dec. 15 at 6 p.m.

There will be limited in-person attendance at the Stawamus Activity Centre Room in Brennan Park. It will also be live-streamed at the District website.

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