Hirise to be built at north end of Lions Gate Bridge

Monday, November 22nd, 2004

Nothing West Vancouver can do to stop it, says mayor

Kent Spencer


The Squamish Indian band plans to build highrises near the north end of Lions Gate Bridge.

The band says the land is worth about $750 million and needs to be developed for the band’s future.

The band’s website shows three plans with a mix of highrises, commercial and single-family development on both the west and east sides of the bridge’s north end (go to www.squamish.net).

The band says it intends to bring the plans forward within five years.

But West Vancouver residents are dismayed at the prospect of losing a rare bit of park in an already built-up area of Park Royal.

The land is west of the Capilano River in an area called the Dog Park Walk, but does not include the grass fields at Ambleside Pavilion, which are municipally owned.

“Residents have been visiting this unique environment for decades,” said Keith Pople, director of a group called Preserve West Vancouver.

“I know people who go down twice a day to watch an eagle family. How many places are there in Vancouver with a natural setting for a big river? This would be a tremendous loss.”

But West Vancouver Mayor Ron Wood said the district can’t stop the band.

“We’ve always known the area is going to be developed,” Wood said. “It poses an issue for us with additional traffic on the Lions Gate Bridge. The reality is we have no control over what they do.”

He ruled out a so-called choke-point response, where the natives would depend on the good graces of the GVRD to bring treated water to the site.

“Water couldn’t be withheld,” Wood said. “The sewage plant is on native land. Presumably they could tap into that or expand it.”

Squamish Chief Gibby Jacob told BCTV News on Global the highrise plan is for the “needs of our membership.”

“With our population doubling in the next 20 years, the need to develop has become more apparent.”

Apartments considered at mouth of Capilano River

Glenn Bohn

Vancouver Sun

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Squamish Nation makes plans
The property in its Capilano reserve would be developed with a mix of homes.

WEST VANCOUVER – High-rise apartment towers near the Capilano River and Ambleside Park are one of the developments being pondered by the Squamish Nation for its Capilano reserve at the mouth of the Capilano River.

Variations of some kind of “high-density residential” development on the now-forested land between Park Royal South and the West Vancouver municipal park are outlined in a Capilano Master Plan brochure posted on the Squamish Nation website. But Gibby Jacobs, a Squamish Nation councillor and hereditary chief involved with development plans, said Monday that it is just one of the options that a future band council will consider.

It’s also possible that part of the Capilano reserve could remain undeveloped, he said.

The time frame for the development isn’t spelled out, but master plans usually refer to a 25 or 30-year period.

The web-posted brochure also doesn’t say how many people could eventually live on the reserve, if the high-density option is chosen.

Jacobs played down speculation that as many as 30,000 people might reside there if the land is developed to generate revenue, saying the figure is probably smaller.

“I’m not going to guess, because you’ll put it in writing and it will become gospel,” he said in an interview. “Things might not get built, but everyone will remember the number I say.”

Jacobs also said that residential high-rises — if they are in fact built — won’t all be built at the same time.

“Things have to make sense on the business side, based on whether there’s an actual market for the kind of product we’re developing,” he said.

He then referred to development proposals the Squamish Nation had received in the past.

“We could have developed that land 50 times over, with the number of developers who walked through our door and had the best thing since sliced bread,” he said.

The Squamish Nation does not need rezoning approval from its nearest municipal neighbours — in this case, the municipality of West Vancouver.

But it does get services from West Vancouver — things like fire and police service.

Dave Stuart, West Vancouver‘s municipal manager, said the municipality hopes to schedule a meeting with the Squamish Nation to discuss the development plans and its current service agreement.

“If they’re planning to do any developing, we’d want to know that,” Stuart said.

According to the municipal manager, one of the main issues may be the transportation “challenge” of new developments near the western entrance of West Vancouver.

Stuart said the traffic-clogged intersection at Taylor Way and Marine Drive is already in “failure mode” much of the time, so it would be a challenge to handle any additional traffic going to new residential developments.

“You can plan a high-density development there,” Stuart said. “The question is, how are they going to get in and out?”

The Squamish Nation is asking its members to comment on the three options summarized on its website.

Jacob said a small committee of Squamish Nation officials has been working on the plan for the past few years and hopes to have a final draft of its Capilano master plan some time early in the new year. No public meetings are scheduled for residents of adjacent municipalities.

© The Vancouver Sun 2004

One Response to “Hirise to be built at north end of Lions Gate Bridge”

  1. jack says:

    i think this is all bull crap.. our C&C are playin with our land and our money. they are losing our money. and they are losing our land. they arent benifiting none of squamish nation members.. they are making themselvs richer.. they are con artists.. and will do what it takes to make more money for there pockets.. they never look to the nation when planning things like this.. but karama will pay them back hard for mistreating our people the way they do.. they should know better in the native ways mistreat your people. and something will hit you harder back. they are chiefs they are con artists.. if i had my way i would put a stop to there spending our money they way they do. us poor people suffer enough.. and look at there fat bellys with all the steaks they are eating. the warm big ass homes they have big fancy cars.. come on you aint in there for the people what KIND OF CHIEFS DO WE HAVE CHICKEN CHIEFS THAT CANT FACE THE TRUTH. WHEN IT COME TO SPENDING OUT MONEY.. THEY ARE LOSERS