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Municipal News- District of Squamish

January 1, 2000

January 11, 2022

Payment in Lieu of Off-Street Parking Spaces 

On January 4th, the District of Squamish gave first, second, and third reading to the Payment in Lieu of Off-Street Parking Spaces bylaw. Proposed changes include a revision to the cash in lieu of the commercial parking rate from $25,000 to $30,000 per eligible commercial parking stall. This is aligned with cash in lieu rates charged by different municipalities, demonstrated through a staff review of regional rates which fall in the $25,000 to $40,000 range. If adopted, the amounts will be levied on new Development Permit applications. The full report can be found here


October 19, 2021

Garibaldi Estates Neighbourhood Plan Engagement 

The District of Squamish has recently begun public engagement for the Garibaldi Estates Neighbourhood Planning Process. More details about the project can be found at https://letstalksquamish.ca/garibaldi-estates-plan. 

Engagement with the building industry is intended to help the District better understand future housing, services and transportation needs and how that might influence neighbourhood planning as it works to develop a collaborative vision for the future of the Garibaldi Estates neighbourhood over the next 20 years. A neighbourhood plan will provide property owners with a roadmap for the types of infill development that the Garibaldi Estates can accommodate in the future. 

Infill development is prioritized in the Squamish 2040 Official Community Plan to make use of existing neighbourhoods and protect the natural environment. This strategy is in place to manage the anticipated population growth that Squamish will continue to experience, and was developed with extensive community input. 

Visit LetsTalkSquamish.ca today to complete our housing, business or transportation survey, ask a question or share an idea or feedback. 


Transit Future Action Plan & Expansion Initiatives Letter 

Staff presented a report at the October 12th Committee of the Whole meeting, for the purpose of receiving approval to sign the 2021 three-year transit expansion initiatives letter, and to provide an update on the January 2022 expansion plans and Transit Future Action Plan service priorities. The staff recommendation for the District of Squamish to authorize the Chief Administrative Officer to sign the 2021 three-year transit expansion initiatives letter from BC Transit was carried unanimously. 

Transit Future Action Plan Draft Service Priorities can be viewed on page 3 of the report. Changes include Frequent Transit Network improvements, including service expansion and increased frequency. 

The expansions proposed in the Three-Year Expansion Initiatives Letter are intended to provide resources (service hours, vehicles) for the service priorities proposed in the Transit Future Action Plan (TFAP). A high-level summary of the three-year plan is to:  

  • Improve frequency between downtown and Garibaldi Village during peak hours in year one 
  • Provide off peak expansions and reserve buses in year two 
  • Initiate the transition to a new Frequent Transit Network in year three 

The next step for the Transit Future Action Plan is to use feedback received from Council to modify the service priorities and complete the draft plan. The draft plan will then be circulated initially to staff and then to Council at a future meeting. If approved, staff will coordinate the execution of the three-year transit expansion initiatives letter return it to BC Transit. 


September 21, 2021

2020 Zoning Bylaw Changes 

The District of Squamish is in the process of completing work on Stage 3 of the 2020 Zoning Bylaw Update, based on feedback received from council at the meeting on June 8th. The full report to council can be found here

The Stage 3 Amendments include roughly 100 technical amendments. Areas that may be of interest to members include projections into required setback, height of buildings and structures related to mass timber buildings and use of insulation, as well as Gross Floor Area Exemptions. The goal of the amendments is to increase flexibility surrounding zoning, improve clarity in definitions surrounding items like patios, decks, and balconies, as well as address gaps in bylaws related to items like amenity space. 

The changes are scheduled to go to Council in December. 

If you have any questions, please email Heather Park at hpark@udi.org


September 7, 2021

2020 Zoning Bylaw Update – Stage 3 General Amendments Open House 

The District of Squamish is hosting an in person and virtual open house as part of the 2020 Zoning Bylaw Update related to the Stage 3 General Amendments. An In Person and Virtual Open House event will be held, each covering the same content. The events will include a general overview of the proposed Stage 3 General amendments, and a moderated discussion with opportunities for questions and comments from participants. Prior to the Open Houses feel free to review the Stage 3 General Amendments Report to Council, the Completed Items Spreadsheet and the Draft Zoning Bylaw No. 2824, 2021 (with tracked changes)

How to register: 

Register for Wednesday, September 15, 8-6 pm In Person Open House 

email: bdaly@squamish.ca  

Register for the Thursday, September 16, 6-8 pm Online Open House 



June 29, 2021

Demolition Waste Diversion Bylaw

Council adopted the Demolition Waste Diversion Bylaw on June 15th. The new bylaw has instituted a refundable fee structure of $20 per square metre of building being demolished, paid before demolition begins. If there is no divertible material going to the landfill, or less than 40%, none of the fee is refunded. If more than 80% is diverted, all of the fee is refunded, with amounts in between subject to a sliding scale. Builders can make money back on tipping fees in addition to the refund if they are diverting successfully.


Review of Development Cost Charge (DCC) Model

The District’s DCC model is back up for review, and the District is asking for consultants to help in the review. Council is mainly focused on equity between property classes, and different forms of housing (i.e. single-detached homes vs multi-family). Work to review the DCC model is scheduled to take place in early July.


January 12, 2021

UPDATED: Fees and Charges

Further to the update provided in December 2020, the District is updating its Fees and Charges By-law for the Engineering and Community Planning departments.

One of the key changes was updating the Municipal Work Permit fees to encourage builders “… to lessen the duration of park, path, sidewalk, and road closures,” by applying an area based unit rate for permits greater than seven days. The current fee is $200 + a deposit of 75% of the work value. The proposed new fee structure is outlined in the table below:

If you have feedback or comments on this change or the others noted in the previous newsletter article below, please contact Cassandra McColman (cmccolman@udi.org) by January 20, 2021.


December 15, 2020

Fees and Charges

The District is updating its Fees and Charges By-law for the Engineering and Community Planning departments. Last month, a report went to Committee of the Whole, and it will be discussed at the December 16 District of Squamish Development Liaison Committee meeting. The changes to the By-law include:

  • Updates to section 6.6 Subdivision Administration, Drawing Review and Construction Inspection to provide better clarity on when the fee applies and to charge a fee based on summation of project values rather than a single value …;”
  • Updating the Municipal Work Permit fees to encourage builders “… to lessen the duration of park, path, sidewalk, and road closures,” by applying an area based unit rate for permits greater than seven days;
  • Removing the flat fee from permits for habitat restoration and invasive species removal;
  • Clarifying the Tree Management Permit application and fees associated with it;
  • Changes to fees for Community Planning services such as:
    • The Plan Processing fees increasing “… from $90 to $3,000 for applications with development value above $1 Million;”
    • The Building Permit Extension/Renewal Fee increasing to $1,000 (from $50) for projects valued higher than $1 Million;
    • A 22% increase in Building Permit Fees – but a reduction in those fees for projects that exceed Squamish’s Energy Step Code requirements and use 100% renewable energy sources;
    • An increase in the “… OCP amendment fee for Sub Area Plan applications from $22,000 to $30,000;”
    • Removing “… the discount for residential rezonings and development permits above 3 units,” and the discount for subdivisions over 50 lots; and
    • Removing the OCP amendment fee discount for concurrent OCP/rezoning applications.


November 3, 2020

Updated: Proposed DCC Bylaw Changes

Following the granting of First Reading to a proposed DCC Bylaw review in July 2020, District of Squamish staff have revised the proposed implementation of the new DCC rates. A new phased approach will distribute the increases over a three-year period. The increases would be equally split over that period and in-stream applications would be grandfathered under the standard LGA provisions.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding these rates please contact Cassandra McColman. To note, Council has not yet provided input on this proposal, and it is expected to be presented in mid-November. UDI will work directly with staff to respond to any questions or comments.

Further to the initial feedback provided by Council in July, staff will also be conducting a more comprehensive review of their DCC Bylaw and rate structure in 2021.


September 8, 2020

Arts, Culture and Heritage Strategy

District of Squamish Council has endorsed an Arts, Culture and Heritage Strategy that aims to support a vibrant cultural sector and identity, create connectivity and enhance the availability of cultural activity in Squamish. The Strategy is designed with ‘present time and place’ in mind, with an adaptable implementation plan that can respond to changing needs and evolving opportunities as the community grows over time. The 60-page document can be viewed online at squamish.ca/arts-culture-and-heritage-strategy.


August 11, 2020

2020 Zoning Bylaw Update – Phase 1

On July 28, The District of Squamish held a Public Hearing to receive input on several proposed zoning changes. These changes included the rezoning of specific greenfield sites from RS-1 to Multiple Unit Residential 5 (RM-5), the rezoning of resource parcels along Highway 99 to Ecotourism and amendments of the zoning of large C-4 properties in the downtown centre. UDI submitted a letter as part of the Public Hearing proceedings. To read the full comments received by Council, click here.

As part of the original update proposed by staff on July 7, the Community Amenity Contribution (CAC) policy would be amended to use the previous zoning as the basis for CAC negotiations. This amendment was not included in the update that proceeded to Public hearing on July 28, however, at the conclusion of the Public Hearing, Council approved a motion to refer this amended CAC Policy back to draft for additional work, with the intention of including a revised amendment in the final Bylaw changes.


July 28, 2020

Proposed DCC Bylaw Changes

At the Special Business Meeting held on July 21, Squamish District Council gave first reading to the amendments proposed for the Development Cost Charge Bylaw. Council also directed Staff to proceed with additional engagement of the Economic Development Department to discuss the proposed new rates for Industrial, Commercial and Institutional classes. UDI had previously provided a letter to staff outlining our concerns with the timing and magnitude of the DCC rate increases and recommending that the potential for phasing be explored.   


June 2, 2020

DCC Bylaw Review

The District of Squamish is reviewing its DCC Bylaw, with a report expected to go to Council this summer. Staff have provided an overview of the proposed changes and accompanying project lists for preliminary review. If you have any questions or comments please contact Cassandra McColman.


April 23, 2020 

See here for COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Updates from the District of Squamish

See here for news Updates from the District of Squamish

April 21st State of Local Emergency Cancelled https://squamish.ca/yourgovernment/news/state-of-emergency-cancelled/

April 20th New homes on the way for Squamish’s vulnerable residents https://squamish.ca/yourgovernment/news/new-homes-on-the-way-for-squamishs-vulnerable-residents/

April 17th Site preparation work underway for temporary emergency and transitional housing project https://squamish.ca/yourgovernment/news/site-preparation-work-underway-for-temporary-emergency-and-transitional-housing-project/

District of Squamish is working with partners to lobby Province for support to address high visitor numbers

March 28 Facilities Update: temporary removal of portable toilets, improved access to washroom and shower facilities https://squamish.ca/yourgovernment/news/facilities-update/

March 27 District of Squamish lays out operational plan for coming weeks https://squamish.ca/yourgovernment/news/operational-plan-covid19/

March 27 Statement on physical distance and enforcement https://squamish.ca/yourgovernment/news/statement-on-enforcement/

March 25 Provincial guidance to construction sites during COVID-19 https://squamish.ca/yourgovernment/news/provincial-guidance-to-construction-sites-during-covid-19/

March 22 ‘Please stay home for now’ says District of Squamish to visitors https://squamish.ca/yourgovernment/news/please-stay-home-for-now-says-district-of-squamish-to-visitors/

March 20 Mayor urges community to take social distancing seriously https://squamish.ca/yourgovernment/news/mayor-urges-community-to-take-social-distancing-seriously/

March 16 District of Squamish to make significant adjustments to facilities operationshttps://squamish.ca/yourgovernment/news/district-of-squamish-to-make-significant-adjustments-to-facilities-operations/

March 15 District of Squamish remains vigilant in the response to COVID-19 https://squamish.ca/yourgovernment/news/covid19-march15/

March 13 A Message from Mayor Karen Elliott – COVID 19https://squamish.ca/yourgovernment/news/message-from-the-mayor-covid-19/


June 10, 2019

Residential Rental Tenure Zoning Policy Proposed to Council

On June 11, Squamish Council will be considering a Report recommending “that the District of Squamish Council direct staff to prepare Zoning Bylaw and Official

Community Plan amendments which introduce Residential Rental Tenure zoning based on feedback received at the June 11, 2019 Committee of the Whole Meeting.” Staff are proposing to implement Residential Rental Tenure Zoning on 12 properties encompassing 309 existing non-stratified purpose-built rental units.

According to the Report: “The amendment would limit the form of tenure to residential rental for the existing number of purpose-built rental units on the subject properties. Owner-occupied units would not be permitted in the existing building. The only form of tenure permitted is rental. In a redevelopment scenario, an affected property owner would need to provide the same number of rental units that currently exist on site, but may be permitted to develop additional for-sale units that may be owner-occupied. This would not preclude a developer from including strata market housing in redevelopment plans should they have remaining density over and above the required number of rental units.


April 16, 2019 

2020 Zoning Bylaw Update and Open House

The District of Squamish is updating its Zoning Bylaw, focusing on increasing zoning flexibility, improving functionality, addressing gaps and aligning zoning with the Squamish 2040 Official Community Plan. Attend the Phase 1 Open House, Wednesday, April 24 6:30pm-8:30pm at the Ledge Community Coffee House. More info: https://bit.ly/2PckKUD



March 18, 2019

Squamish Accepting Expressions of Interest for Business Park

The District is completing a Real Estate and Facilities Master Plan in Spring 2019. The sale or lease of all or portions of District-owned land in the Squamish Business Park is being considered as a possibility to fund other District investments. As a result, the District is soliciting Expressions of Interest from interested parties to establish:

  • The level of interest in these lands – sizes, uses, timing.
  • The optimal approach to proceeding with these lands.
  • Parties to negotiate potential subsequent sale(s)/lease(s).

The District of Squamish will be accepting Expressions of Interest until March 28, 2019 (4:30 P.M. PT)


February 5, 2019

Mayor and Council Release 2019/2022 Strategic Plan

Mayor Karen Elliott used the occasion of her January 23rd address to the Squamish Chamber to release Council’s new 2019/22 Strategic Plan, including the promise to have 125 new affordable housing units built by 2022. Other housing related highlights from the plan include:

  • Establish an affordable housing governance structure in 2019 that will facilitate growth and management of affordable housing stock,
  • Identify and facilitate securing land required to accommodate affordable housing needs to meet current and future projections in 2019,
  • Increase the number of affordable housing form options, size and the numbers of bedrooms within each form, year over by 2022, and
  • Extend the affordable housing program by 2022 to provide affordable home ownership options.


December 10, 2019

Community Amenity Contribution Policy

Squamish’s recently adopted CAC policy is now available. Please note, the table has been reformatted to improve clarity and prior to approval, Council added a $6 per square foot charge for larger applications, in addition to the affordable housing requirement and parks / active transportation charges. Previously it had been either / or and the new policy was both. A pure cash in lieu contribution would now therefore be $21 per square foot.


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