A Brief Summary
The subject property at 1250 Judd Road is a 2 acre parcel at the corner of Judd Road and Cottonwood Road in Brackendale. It was part of a small subdivision created in the late 1960’s when farming in the area phased out. It still retains the old RL-2 zone that existed in farming days (although it is a RL-1 sized parcel). The one and only owner(s) built a 3 bedroom home and raised a family on the property and kept horses for their girls. After they grew up and moved out approximately 30 years ago, the land remained fallow. The next door neighbour had horses so they were allowed to wander into the subject property. With the recent passing of the original owner, the family estate is now selling the property.
The subject property is located in the heart of Brackendale – west of Government Road. This area of Squamish was subdivided in the 1970’s. It is zoned RL-2 (a leftover from agriculture days). Adjacent area zones are RS-1 and RS-2. It is surrounded by a variety of housing types – single family, duplex, and townhouse close by. It is primarily a family neighbourhood.
The proponent proposes to open and operate a child care facility, namely a licenced day-care, on the subject property. It will accommodate 37 children with ages ranging from 12 months to 5 years. They also plan for a modest increase in enrollment in future years – driven by demand. The philosophy of this particular program encourages generous year round outdoor play. So the 2 acre size of the property lends itself well to this daycare. Our re-zoning proposal also allows for the development of up to 6 single family lots on the property should the daycare close down in future years. Any such subdivision would have to meet all engineering requirements of the district of Squamish
The Need for More Child-care Space in Squamish
One does not need skimpy Stephen Harper StatsCan data to know that there is a birthing boom happening in Squamish. We gather that in May alone, 60 babies were born in Squamish. Numerous babies and young children are a very visible part of our community. With both parents of many families working, child care is an essential part of community life. Clearly there is a shortage of available spaces and there are long waiting lists. Fresh Ayre will help ameliorate this (almost crisis) situation. To put it in perspective, with 37 spaces we will meet a requirement for a little more than half of the May births.
The Fresh Ayre property sits on the banks of the Squamish River. The municipal dike sits within that zone. It is primarily covered with deciduous trees and grasses. The Fresh Ayre proponents recognize the value this streamside area brings to Squamish – fish habitat protection and shading, flood protection for Brackendale, and a future recreational pathway (see OCP Section 10, Policy 10-25). As part of the approval process Fresh Ayre will gift title of the land within that zone to the municipality of Squamish.
The OCP – Official Community Plan
Fresh Ayre is compliant with the Official Community Plan (OCP) in a number of ways.
In Section 8 ‘Guiding Principles’. Fresh Ayre supports the principle of creating a more sustainable community by developing quality child care within the Brackendale neighbourhood – easily reached on foot or bicycle. A few supporting sections:
Principal 3: Economic development supports prosperity for the entire community through provision of employment lands, by supporting diversification of employment through business development and by providing educational opportunities to residents.
Principal 6: The District will strive to enable a high quality of life for its residents, where everyone enjoys a safe, vibrant and healthy community, and has access to education, jobs, public services, culture, recreation and the natural environment.
In Section 10 ‘Growth Management’. Fresh Ayre provides an important contribution to the creation of complete mixed-use neighbourhood nodes. It is an infill development offering an important neighbourhood service in close proximity to housing, thereby helping to create a more liveable community.
Section 10 – general policies 10-3: The district recognizes the importance of building a complete community and establishing Neighbourhood Centres with different characteristics, to provide a range of daily services and options for its residents. The district also recognizes the importance of maintaining the unique qualities and characteristics of each existing neighbourhood.
Many sections of the OCP stress the importance of Community Engagement. Fresh Ayre is committed to voluntarily engaging the Brackendale community in dialogue about the project.