Developer promises to offer discount to current residents
The Squamish-Lillooet Regional District has taken the first steps in rezoning land at Britannia Beach for 200 residential lots.
The SLRD board gave first reading to the development proposal at Monday's monthly board meeting.
Though the current Official Community Plan allows 800 to 1,000 residential units in the area, the development company is seeking approval for a much lower density after completing detailed studies on the servicing and topographical constraints in the area.
"(We) believe it fits better with the land," said Michael Rosen, who attended the SLRD meeting representing Britannia Bay Properties.
Of the 400 acres controlled by Britannia Bay Properties, the company is looking to rezone 235 acres for the residential development.
Roughly half the 200 lots will be developed within the existing town site and the other half on adjacent land said Rosen. Thirty per cent of the land will be dedicated as parkland.
Rosen said the company made a commitment to people in the community which would allow them to purchase homes on the new sites in an affordable manner.
He said the company will be doing appraisals of its new development and then giving residents discounts on those appraisals. The exact figures have yet to be nailed down.
For those residents who do not want to or can't afford to buy the new homes, Rosen said they will still be allowed to continue renting their existing homes or trailers.
"I think most of the community is very happy," said Jane Iverson, co-ordinator of the Residents Advisory Committee for the Residents for Tenure Society, who was also at the SLRD board meeting.
She was speaking at the meeting in support of the rezoning application and said a survey showed more than 80 per cent of the community supported the arrangement proposed by the developers.
Iverson said the developers have already shown a commitment to the community in numerous ways. Since taking control of the land in August, they have repaired and maintained houses and have removed garbage and old vehicles at no cost to the tenants.
Next they will hold a public meeting in March to explain the appraisal process to residents.
"Retention of the historic community and affordability are paramount to the residents," said Iverson.
Iverson also appealed to the SLRD board on Monday for support to get Highway 99 at Britannia Beach upgraded sooner rather than later.
She said residents have been lobbying for improvements to the highway for the past 25 years.