The Squamish-Lillooet Regional District (SLRD) will hold a public hearing in Squamish on Monday, Feb. 19 to allow input on controversial amendments to its Regional Growth Strategy (RGS).
The amendments — part of the SLRD's provincially mandated five-year review of its RGS — seek to remove "destination resort" language from the strategy, and direct future growth to member municipalities rather than to non-urban areas.
The SLRD board was set to adopt them at its meeting last month before taking a step back.
"The proposed amendments have broad regional impacts," said SLRD chair Jack Crompton. "There were concerns raised by residents of Squamish that they didn't get the opportunity to provide input in Squamish. We take public engagement very seriously, so we wanted to provide them with that opportunity."
The loudest opposition has come from the proponents of the proposed Garibaldi at Squamish (GAS) ski resort on Brohm Ridge and the Squamish Nation.
"We applaud the SLRD Board for their decision to pause and obtain public comments in Squamish," said GAS' VP for planning Rod MacLeod in an emailed statement.
"We hope that the board goes even further and defers any decision on the proposed amendments until Garibaldi at Squamish has had the opportunity to share more information with the community about the thousands of new jobs, economic and recreational benefits that our all-season resort would bring to Squamish and the region."
The public hearing is set for Monday, Feb. 19 at 7 p.m. at the Sea to Sky Hotel in Squamish.
The amendments will return to the SLRD board for decision following the public hearing.
AREA C OCP PUBLIC HEARING TO TAKE PLACE IN MARCH
Meanwhile, the SLRD is also working its way through a review of bylaws in the Area C Official Community Plan, with the goal of implementing the Pemberton Valley Agricultural Area Plan.
A first public hearing was held in September, with another to come in March, Crompton said.
"We are considering some significant changes to the way agricultural land will be treated — we'll be considering a larger minimum parcel size, we are considering the farm residential home plate, and some other amendments that will address promoting farming on ag land," he said.
Comments can be emailed directly to firstname.lastname@example.org (citing "Area C OCP and Zoning Bylaw Review" in the subject line).