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Squamish fast-tracks temporary Olympic bus depot

No opposition to temporary commercial use permit




With no public opposition Squamish Council unanimously approved a temporary commercial use permit for a series of lots on the corner of Queens Way and Industrial Way that will house roughly 130 buses during the 2010 Olympics.

As well, the application included facilities for washing and refueling buses, security, a lounge and food and beverage service for drivers. There is also a park and ride lot with stalls for 212 vehicles that can be used by Olympic workers, volunteers and spectators.

There was a public comment period attached to the permit, but other than a request for clarification there was no opposition to the application.

According to District of Squamish planner Chris Bishop the landowner had already undertaken paving and other work with the understanding that it was at his own risk and expense if the permit was not accepted. Otherwise he said the temporary permit - which expires at the end of May 2010 - meets all district regulations, including environmental considerations.

"The lighting, noise control and waste management objectives are spelled out, as well as compliance with the anti-idling bylaw," he said. "VANOC is eager to comply with the interest of being the cleanest Games ever."

As well, the site will include measures to prevent against any fuel spills, and the permit mandates soil sampling after the Games to ensure that there is no contamination that might require mediation.

Duncan Lowe, who has a unit next to the site, had a question regarding the number of buses and the peak times for travel. Bishop explained that roughly 70 buses will leave the area in the morning, starting at 6 a.m., and roughly 45 buses in the evening. Traffic will otherwise be steady through the day outside of peak periods.

The permit application was passed unanimously, with Councillor Corinne Lonsdale reminding people that the site includes temporary jobs for the community and that opportunities to work at the site will be posted this week.


Anthem compromise wins council praise

Council praised Anthem Properties and local stakeholders for reaching a consensus on proposed landscaping on municipal lands that allow the property to be seen from the highway.

The issue came to a head at the Nov. 3 regular council meeting after a lengthy debate over the wording of a previous application - and whether the proponent meant to consult with stakeholder groups before moving ahead. In the end council voted to defer any authorization until stakeholders have had their say.

That ruling prompted the developer to sit down with stakeholders, namely representatives from the Squamish Trails Society, the Squamish River and Watershed Society, the local Streamkeepers chapter and the Squamish Environmental Conservation Society, and hammer out a new agreement for the narrow stretch of municipally-owned land.

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