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.”
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