FOSC created this website in response to what we see as a new threat to our Park, the proposal from Sea to Sky Gondola Corp. to annex land from our Park for commercial use. Our goal is to provide a venue for dialogue and ensure concerns about impacts to our park as a result of this development are heard and addressed before/if the project moves forward. Our concerns:
a) Land should not be removed from Class A provincial parks, except in very limited circumstances. Provincial parks, particularly those in the Sea to Sky region, have enough challenges already. What’s the point of creating parks, if they’re not protected?
b) Land should not be removed from these parks for the development in question. It would be contrary to the values and master plans of the parks, and to the public interest, and they’re already heavily used and highly visible. An additional, high-impact development doesn’t fit.
c) If there is to be consideration of removing land from Class A parks, it should only be after thorough public review of the proposal by BC Parks, in context of the master plans for the parks, and their history and values. There should then be independent public meetings where balanced information about the proposal is presented and public opinion sought and currently no plans are in place for public input regarding the environmental assessment or the removal of park lands.
d)The Land Conservancy of B.C. bought the proposed gondola base property in 2004 to prevent it ever being used for a gondola, or any other high-impact development. They placed a binding conservation covenant against the legal title to the land before selling it recently. We understand that the covenant prohibits the construction of any kind of gondola from the property that goes through or ends in Stawamus Chief or Shannon Falls Provincial Parks. The eventual buyer, Sea to Sky Gondola Corp., wants to build a gondola that would end just outside the parks, and get government and public consent to their removing a 20 metre strip of land from the parks, so that the gondola isn’t “in” the parks. Provincial government should enforce the spirit as well as the letter of the conservation covenant, given the importance of such covenants to the people of BC. Ignoring this original covenant is a dangerous precedent for protection of land through the use of covenants in BC.
There are subsidiary matters such as the exact gondola route, its visual, noise, and other impacts, its suggested benefits, the developer’s promises and holding it to them, and so on. We welcome you to weigh in. However we believe that a gondola shouldn’t be built through our park at all, and if considered, the process for doing so needs to be much more inclusive and impartial.