A clear message has been sent to the owners of the Britannia South lands. The Squamish-Lillooet Regional District (SLRD) directors voted at their monthly meeting to tell Taicheng, the owners of the land at Britannia South, to officially put something in front of the SLRD board so the regional leaders can discuss the future of the land in a meaningful way.
The Official Community Plan (OCP) for the area, which was amended at the meeting on Oct. 28, calls for up to 1,700 new housing units for Britannia. There are currently 700 undeveloped units in the northern part of the community and 1,000 units targeted for the southern part of the town. At public presentations held by Taicheng the company indicated it wants to build up to 3,000 housing units in the southern part of Britannia.
SLRD director Jack Crompton of Whistler expressed concerns about the amended OCP for Area D. He said he supports limiting the number of units Taicheng develops in Britannia.
SLRD director of planning Kim Needham reported that she met with municipal planners from throughout the corridor recently and she said they all agreed that the Taicheng density vision isn't appropriate at 3,000 units.
"There was some concern that perhaps the development was not necessarily in keeping with the OCP and RGS (Regional Growth Strategy) in terms of the intent and spirit," said Needham. "They felt it was more extensive than perhaps what was being suggested."
She said the planners felt the sort of development envisioned by Taicheng is out of place and likely too much for what the site could bear.
Crompton and Squamish Mayor Rob Kirkham made it clear they want the SLRD board to stick with limits placed on Britannia South in the current OCP.
"I think we should convey to the proponent that we are OK with receiving an application but it should adhere to our OCP and that we're not interested at this time in entertaining an OCP amendment," said Kirkham.
Crompton said he'd like to see future development focused in established communities like Squamish.
"I'm not in support of amending the OCP to allow for growth in a location that could potentially damage a very important municipality within our regional district," he said.
The SLRD passed a motion indicating the SLRD board wants to see a development proposal from Taicheng that doesn't require an OCP amendment and that the board won't spend any more money on consultants or staff time until a proposal is submitted.
Crompton also wanted the OCP for Area D to include a note indicating the SLRD board doesn't support the proposed Garibaldi at Squamish development. Crompton tried to formalize that through a resolution of the board.