North Crumpit development - have your say!

North Crumpit development

Heads up! North Crumpit is currently going through a Neighbourhood Planning Process to potentially develop 255 acres (103 hectares) north of the Valleycliffe neighbourhood in Squamish.

There are two public info meetings on Wednesday, October 13th at 2pm and 6pm.

REGISTER HERE

Here's what you need to know:

  • This is private land, and has been owned by the Fast family for over 20 years. We also want to acknowledge that this land has been cared for by Squamish Nation for time immemorial.

  • This land was previously zoned RS-1 Residential for single-home development similar to Crumpit Woods. This original zoning was approved many councils ago.

  • The zoning bylaw update initiated by the District of Squamish last year rezoned the land to Multiple Unit Residential 5 (RM-5). The intention of the rezoning bylaw update was to ensure that any future development was in line with the vision of the Official Community Plan (OCP) which was developed in 2016/2017 with significant community input.

  • A recent amendment to the OCP by council was intended to encourage the Neighbourhood Planning process, which is the process that we're now participating in. This is a good thing, because it means that we now all have an opportunity to inform if or how this development proceeds. The process will potentially result in a different zoning for the land.

  • Our community has taken access to this area's wilderness and trails for granted, but it is only due to the goodwill of the Fast family that we have access to this land. Please keep that in mind and be respectful in any comments you make.

  • Cascade Environmental has completed an aquatic and terrestrial assessment of the property, which shows waterways, wetlands, riparian areas, and classifies sensitive ecosystems that have high biodiversity and habitat values, and are sensitive to disturbance and human impacts.

  • Much of this land is too steep or too ecologically sensitive to be developed.

  • This land is the headwaters of the Little Stawamus Creek, which is a critical habitat for pink, coho, and chum salmon.

  • Critical wetland and riparian habitats are also found throughout this property which support amphibian populations (some of which are species at risk, e.g., red-legged frog and western toad).

  • Many of the trails with high recreational and dog use have resulted in stream bed erosion and negative impacts to fish habitat. There are opportunities for us to all be better stewards of our backyard, and for restoration of these waterways.

  • The public engagement for this Neighbourhood Planning process is just beginning, and will continue over at least another year and a half. There is a graphic on the North Crumpit website that shows the steps in the process.

  • If the development proceeds, there is an opportunity for significant greenspace retention through the North Crumpit planning and development process.

  • There are already two “right of ways” on existing trails for Seven Stitches and Summer's Eve. These were secured for the community through the Crumpit Woods development.

  • FortisBC has a right-of-way for the existing 10-inch pipeline which was expropriated in the 1990s. The proposed 24-inch high-pressure Eagle Mountain to Woodfibre pipeline may also be expropriated if that project ever proceeds. My Sea to Sky is doing everything we can to stop that risky new pipeline from going ahead.

  • The District of Squamish has identified this corridor for a secondary access road connecting Valleycliffe and Loggers East. No specific routing has been identified at this time, but a portion of the most obvious route has been designated as a High Environmentally Sensitive Area by Cascade Environmental. Given the ecological sensitivity of the area, this may not be the best location for a road that will also result in fragmented habitat, which is bad for wildlife.

  • I initially reached out to the land owner last year, in my role as Executive Director of My Sea to Sky, to see if we could purchase the land to preserve the forests and trail network as a legacy for the community. Several local community members had a similar idea this year (great minds think alike!) and have also approached the land owner to create a legacy project. So we're combining forces and looking for support if you want to volunteer to help us with this vision we're calling the Crumpit Legacy Initiative. Reply to this email if you'd like to help.

  • This land is designated as residential neighbourhood in the OCP and the land owner currently intends to develop North Crumpit for that purpose. However, it may not be financially viable for the land owner to develop this land given the ecological sensitivity and steepness of the site. The land owner is interested to continue this process to identify preferred Neighbourhood Plan options and do a financial feasibility study, and we need to engage throughout this process and advocate for the land to be protected.

  • The Neighbourhood Planning process will result in an application that the land owner will make to the district; what they propose is up to them. We have an opportunity to influence what is proposed by participating in this process. Council will then decide whether to approve or refuse the development application.

We are exploring two possible pathways to protect this land:

OPTION A) We crowdfund, apply for grants, and purchase this land (including the adjacent land where The Graduate, Meet Your Maker, Sweeter the Barry, Spencers, Pointless, and S&M Connecter are located) and establish a legacy that can never be developed. This will have to be done in consultation and possible partnership with the District of Squamish, Squamish Nation, and other stakeholders.

OPTION B) The land owner develops a small portion of the land in less sensitive habitat and we push for the rest to be designated as a legacy project for the community.

BUT! While we’ve initiated conversations with the land owner, there is no obligation or commitment on their part for the land to be protected.

We will continue to advocate for these precious ecosystems to be protected, and we will be in touch soon with actions you can take so we can demonstrate widespread public support for the Crumpit Legacy Initiative. We'll keep you informed of any public engagement through the Neighbourhood Planning Process and it is CRITICAL that you engage in that.

Please attend a public information meeting on 13th October to learn more. REGISTER HERE

Tell your neighbours! Tell your friends! The more people talking about this, the better.

Tracey Saxby

Executive Director, My Sea to Sky
Follow me on twitter: @tracey_saxby

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