Doubly blessed up Howe Sound – Furry Creek

Saturday, March 26th, 2005

At Furry Creek, residents enjoy living in a mountainside paradise that’s an easy drive from Vancouver and Whistler

Bob Brant

Furry Creek is a doubly blessed location, a collection of single-family residences above Howe Sound an easy drive from Vancouver and Whistler.

It is also about to grow, with the release by Parklane Homes and the original developer, Tanac Development, of another 12 building lots. Currently 127 families live in the mountainside location.

”The limited home sites at Furry Creek are large and spacious, averaging 9,000 square feet. They take full advantage of the views and pristine natural setting in which they are located,” Parklane’s Gary Marshall comments.

“Once built, they will express an architectural vision that will complement the natural beauty of the area. Design guidelines are in place to ensure a consistent look and to maintain the integrity of the community.”

For eight-year residents Tom Davis and Anita Schmitt those restrictions are an important attribute of Furry Creek.

”Because the development has a house-design-plan covenant, the quality of home design is consistent and of good quality,” Tom says. ”The result is that a poor development is not allowed. We see it in the variety of beautiful homes now in Furry Creek — custom built, post and beam, making the best use of the land, maximizing views, while minimizing the impact on the land.”

Anita notes that the site, too, places special demands on owners. “Choosing the right architect is an important decision.

”Choosing an architect who is experienced in working with and building on the mountainside land of Furry Creek can save you both money and building problems. They know how to read the land of your lot and develop the most efficient plan for it. They work with the personality of your property.”

Fabulous views, the beauty of the area and its great location between Vancouver and Whistler attracted the two North Shore real estate agents to Furry Creek. (They had family in both areas at that time.) Their neighbours help keep them there.

“If you were trying to define the word ‘community.’ it would be Furry Creek,” Tom says.

”We are an eclectic, diverse collection of people. We have owners from all walks of life. Everybody gets along. We have a lot of social activity: We golf together, many jog together, we even have a book club among the residents.”

Comments Anita: “When people buy in Furry Creek they are looking for a special place that is not ‘in town.’

“They don’t necessarily want all the amenities. Usually they have lived in an urban setting and wanted to move beyond it. They want to live in more natural surroundings and yet have access to the city features. Furry Creek offers this and more. It truly is the best of both worlds.”

Dave and Edie Hildreth have lived in Furry Creek for 8 1/2 years. When they moved in there were only three other homes in Furry Creek at the time. “. . . we were the pioneers,” Dave notes.

They too were attracted by the beauty and feel of Furry Creek. To them, it seemed “like being on a holiday.”

Dave, a financial advier, is president of the Furry Creek Community Association, a registered society.

Due to its size and population Furry Creek cannot yet be an officially incorporated community. It is under the jurisdiction of the Squamish-Lillooet Regional District. The regional district is responsible for the civic services like water and sewerage.

Dave, too, observes that people from all walks of life resides in Furry Creek.

”We have a lot of businesses out here in Furry. We have a lot of people who have chosen to leave Vancouver, West Vancouver or whatever and bring their business out here like we have.

”There is a lot of home-based business here. There are a lot of people who still drive to Vancouver everyday. But when you talk to them they laugh about it, because they say they’ve lived the 401. . . for two hours each way, sometimes not moving at all…so this [Furry Creek to Vancouver] is much better, no question”.

Dave has many Lower Mainland clients who ask to come up to him for business meetings because of the relaxed way of life at Furry Creek. He sees the relationship and proximity to the Furry Creek Golf Club as a tremendous asset. ” . . . from the point of view clients coming out and going for meals up here, they can’t get over the quality, the quantity or the price compared to the city.”

At the gold club Residents get 20 per cent off green fees, 15 per cent off merchandise in the pro shop and 10 per cent off food and beverages. Further, Kia Chappell, the Furry Creek functions manager, is helpful at putting together events for the residents, like a dinner-theatre evening earlier this month. Sunday Brunch and Mexican Mondays also keep residents close to home.

Tom Davis observes that, in the time they’ve lived there, most of the homeowners have remained Furry Creek residents. There’s not a lot of turnover.

As Dave Hildreth puts it, “It’s a choice of lifestyle . . . as we said earlier, it’s like a holiday, it’s a retreat. This is where we retreat from the stress of the city, the traffic…”

Edie adds: “If somebody’s considering moving out here and thinking, ‘oh, it’s too far out’ or ‘the traveling.’ Honestly it’s not that bad a drive. It’s a beautiful drive.

”I wouldn’t let the drive or a feeling of being isolated stop them, because you definitely aren’t isolated and yet you’re far enough away to relax.”

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Project Address: Furry Creek – Sea to Sky Highway between Lions Bay and Squamish

Developer: Parklane Homes

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© The Vancouver Sun 2005


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