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Kingswood opts for RV park in place of Red Point

Developer won’t wait for area planning

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A few weeks after a fiery public hearing sunk a rezoning application for the controversial Red Point development in Squamish, developer Kingswood Properties has announced plans to develop its Upper Mamquam Blind Channel (UMBC) land as an RV park.

“We are proceeding with an RV park, which is a permitted use under the current zoning and the only option which makes economic sense,” said Kingswood President Lorne Segal in a July 30 press release.

Councillor Greg Gardner, who voted against the proposed rezoning, said the developer is within their rights to develop an RV park, but noted that the maximum stay is for 30 days and so mobile homes would not find their way on site.

“I personally believe there are higher and better uses for the site,” he added.

Red Point was planned for a portion of the channel visible from Highway 99, at the southern entrance to Squamish. It called for over 200 units, some of which had already attracted down payments, but excluded commercial from the vast majority of the site. Still, it was in line with the Official Community Plan’s vision for the area, though critics say that description is antiquated. After years of planning, the developers ran into problems with their traffic strategy, and a number of rezoning efforts were rejected, with the most recent dividing council right down the middle.

Kingswood — who returned down payments with interest — had been silent up to this point. The July 30 release suggests strain between the district and the developer, with Segal announcing his disappointment in the failed rezoning, despite staff support and what they frame as approval from the Ministry of Transportation and the community at large.

“Well, I guess I’m concerned about the fact that that particular development has put three years worth of time and effort into the proposal and ultimately wasn’t acceptable to council,” said Councillor Gardner. “I want to move along the process that council initiated in December. I see us moving along as quickly as possible with a planning process that would let landowners in that area know what council’s vision for the area is.”

The process launched in December calls for the whole Upper Mamquam Blind Channel to be planned in unison, something district staff said they are still working towards. Despite a motion passed to proceed that way, council passed another motion earlier this summer calling for Red Point to be considered independent of that process. At the time, Gardner said that was done at the developer’s behest.

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