Maintain school safety and the character of downtown Squamish
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There is a proposed six-story development at 38310 Buckley Ave, directly adjacent to Squamish Elementary School and at the gateway to downtown Squamish. We, the undersigned, strongly oppose this development at this location, as it will negatively affect the health and well-being of our children.
- This development will create unsafe pedestrian to access to Squamish Elementary School. The proposed building is 4-6 stories tall and directly adjacent to the school, with a shared entranceway between the school, commercial businesses, and residents. The road to enter the elementary school will have parkades on the north and south side of the school right of way; children walking to school will have to negotiate car traffic on both sides of a busy commercial/apartment complex. Additionally, the proposed development forces many students to walk under a “sky-tunnel”, which, in our dark winter months, will reduce an already diminished level of visibility for our most vulnerable pedestrians. Finally, the active building site that will be required poses many safety concerns for children. A development of this density, in this location, is not safe for our students.
- This development will create traffic congestion. The site of the proposed complex is at the crossroads of the two main arterials into and out of downtown. There are four schools in close proximity (Squamish Elementary, Howe Sound Secondary, Ecole Les Aiglons, and Sea to Sky Learning Connections Alternate School), a preschool (Moussi Montessori), as well as a train junction. Currently, when a train is crossing, the traffic backs up to the highway; the development will further exacerbate traffic problems due to the high density proposed.
- This is the entranceway to our town - our town that people love because of its small-town feel and welcoming neighbourhoods. A six-story development in this location - with an urban sky-tunnel at the entrance to an elementary school - is not in line with what Squamish residents want. A multi-story development with a daycare at any of the other empty lots in the downtown core would benefit our town, but not within a stone's throw of an elementary school and at the entrance to our town.
- A building of this size will dominate the skyline and block the sun from the school and the young children. The tall building will affect the number of daylight hours of sun to the children in the schoolyard. The District of Squamish has built its brand on being “Hardwired for Adventure” and bears the unofficial title of “Outdoor Recreation Capital of Canada”. Currently Howe Sound Secondary and Squamish Elementary have one of the most spectacular views of any school, anywhere in BC. The message being sent by allowing this development to proceed does not seem to line up with the D.O.S’s brand. Furthermore, the District of Squamish has endorsed the Children’s Charter of Rights. This development is not in line with what is best for children’s physical or social/emotional health.
We urge Mayor, council and District of Squamish Planners to carefully plan the growth of our community. We live in Squamish for mountain views, fresh air for our children, and a small-town feel. We urge you to plan for growth similar to other successful municipalities, such as Whistler (http://thiscitylife.tumblr.com/post/7830377534/whistler-village-a-model-for-ski-resorts-across) and restrict height and design of buildings to best serve our town and its residents.
In addition to signing this petition, please let Squamish Mayor and Council know your views by emailing: Council@squamish.ca.
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