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 in 2020 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.
The public engagement for this Neighbourhood Planning process 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.
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.
Access to trails and wilderness
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.
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.
There are several trails located on this land including: White Bronco, Silver Spoon, Doggie Style, Pipe Trail, Mountain of Phlegm, Rampage, Cougar Ridge, Endo, Seven Stitches, The Graduate, Meet Yer Maker, S&M Connector, and Deep Ends.
Cascade Environmental completed an aquatic and terrestrial assessment of the property in 2021, 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.
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.
Recent studies commissioned by the landowner show that much of this land is too steep or too ecologically sensitive to be developed.
Why we love Crumpit Woods
It is the headwaters of the Little Stawamus Creek: this important low elevation river habitat is entirely fed by water stored in wetlands and groundwater on the North Crumpit property. Loss of forest cover, changes to topography, and introduction of pollutants from development of upland areas will affect water drainage patterns and put these valuable wetland and riparian habitats and the species that depend upon them at great risk.
Critical spawning habitat: the Little Stawamus Creek is critical spawning habitat for pink, coho, and chum salmon. Rainbow trout and cutthroat trout have also been observed in this watershed.
Species at risk: 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, western toad, and coastal tailed frogs.
Connection to nature: our community relies on access to this area's wilderness and trails, to recreate and connect with nature. These forested wetlands are enjoyed and cherished by locals and visitors alike, and are an outdoor classroom for our children.
Protection from floods: a healthy watershed provides a natural safeguard from floods, as forests and wetlands act like sponges that slowly absorb rain and snowmelt, and let it seep into the ground over time.
Essential ecosystem services: forests and wetlands provide many ecosystem services that we take for granted, like clean air and fresh water. They also act as carbon sinks that capture and store carbon in the soils and forest biomass. Scientists recommend that wetland ecosystems should be prioritized for protection to help mitigate climate change.
Our shared vision to protect Crumpit Woods
My Sea to Sky reached out to the land owner in 2020, to see if we could purchase Crumpit Woods to preserve the forests, wetlands, and trail network as a legacy for the community. Several local community members had a similar idea in 2021 (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.
This land is designated as a 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 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're currently informing the public of engagement opportunities.
As the year draws to a close, let's take a moment to reflect on a year of action. My Sea to Sky is a small organization with a big heart. We have an outsized impact, and our success is due in no small part to you—our amazing community. Here are a few of our key successes in 2022...
Last week North Crumpit presented their draft Neighbourhood Plan. The landowners/developers are proposing 1,400–1,800 new housing units (apartments, duplexes, townhouses, and small lot single family homes) that will be accessed via Westway Avenue.
Local residents are expressing alarm after learning that FortisBC wants to put a construction yard near their neighbourhood. Residents are concerned about dust, noise pollution, light pollution, air pollution, traffic, waste disposal issues, and many other potential impacts.
North Crumpit is currently going through a Neighbourhood Planning Process, and the deadline for public input is TOMORROW, Friday 25th February. The survey is intended to inform the creation of the neighbourhood plan options, which is step 5 and 6 in the Neighbourhood Planning Process.
North Crumpit is a new development proposal by Diamond Head Land Company to develop up to 255 acres (103 hectares) in Crumpit Woods, located north of the Valleycliffe Neighbourhood in Squamish. Our vision is to protect these precious forested wetlands as a legacy for future generations.
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.