Protect the conversion of existing industrial land to residential use, create new zoning for purpose-built innovation space for the green and tech sector, and a new media district to develop the adventure media target.
These are some of the guiding principles recommended in a recent report by a consultant hired by the district, Sean Grant. The ideas are part of a report on guiding principles for the development of employment spaces which was presented to the council last month.
The report calls on the district to encourage economic diversity and actively plan employment space in the community.
Protect existing employment land from conversion to residential use, which reports say can be done through neighborhood planning.
“Squamish faces a significant threat of spillover demand – including the conversion of employment land to residential use – which would lead to a phasing out of higher order economic activities,” the report said.
The report suggests that the district protect existing commercial land from conversion to residential use and protect employment land by limiting retail to established commercial areas, mixed-use developments in the districts and downtown and to neighborhood nodes.
This threat of conversion to lower-order uses has been recognized as an ongoing problem in OCP, particularly with regard to residential fallout reducing the availability of industrial land, although the report notes that there are sufficient of land available to meet the demand for employment spaces for the next few years. two decades.
The District should also allow for the development of a mixed-use town center and should encourage pedestrian-oriented high street retail as well as dedicated downtown office buildings.
The district says ensuring an increased supply of employment space is a strategic priority, and adequate commercial space means local businesses can grow and new businesses can come to Squamish, which will mean more local jobs for residents.