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Developer proposes artisan market, helipads for Britannia Beach

A developer is proposing to set up an artisan market and a launch site for a helicopter touring company on Britannia Beach.

A developer is proposing to set up an artisan market and a launch site for a helicopter touring company on Britannia Beach.

The Taicheng Development Corporation is asking the Squamish-Lillooet Regional District for a temporary use permit for Britannia Beach South, which includes the gravel pit directly south of the museum and the former Makin lands.

If the SLRD decides to give the project the stamp of approval, it could turn Britannia into a stopover destination for the many who travel the Sea to Sky Highway.

Taicheng is hoping to bring to the market a children’s play area, up to six food trucks, information kiosks, a First Nations arts and culture shop, sports demo areas, a view tower and an enclosed dog run.

It’s a move that may well assist Taicheng with a separate proposal it has with the SLRD to build a 1,000-home development on its land.

The company has been turned down at least twice by the SLRD board for rezoning applications that would allow them to build their residential project.

A big reason the board gave it the housing development a cold reception was because they weren’t interested in creating a commuter community, said Electoral Area D director Tony Rainbow.

“They had no provision for any workspace at all,” said Rainbow, who represents Britannia Beach on the board. “We want to see more than just homes.”

However, if the artisan market works out, it could indirectly provide the Taicheng application with that missing piece.

“If they’re successful with the market, it may well give them something they could fold into their main plans and satisfy to some extent what the board has been asking for,” Rainbow said.

The market would have between 25 to 150 vendors.

Helicopter tours provided by SKY Helicopters would depart between five to nine times a day, and would last up to half an hour each. There would be two helipads, each consisting of 75 metres of crushed gravel. An approximately 12 foot by 40 foot office would also be on-site.

The application also includes parking and a bus loop. There would also be film staging areas — films are already shot in Taicheng’s land, according to Rainbow.

An SLRD information report says the company conducted its own traffic study, which says there will be “a minimal net impact of the site traffic on Highway 99 during peak hours.”

It’s expected there will be a one to three per cent increase in traffic would occur weekday afternoons during peak hour, assuming everything gets built out and it’s a special market day.

Those interested in providing feedback can attend a community meeting at Britannia Beach Community Hall at 7 pm on May 2.