Have you ordered your Squamish decorative plates yet?
I wish I could make this up but it's true. Just the other day a darling friend passed me some mail that offered an interesting diversion from the usual bills, bills and more bills. There before me lay an elaborate flyer offering not one, not two but six different Squamish decorative plates. What designs were featured you ask? Perhaps Mt. Garibaldi, the Chief or even the majestic Tantalus Range? Nope, these plates offered plain displays of the post office, muni hall, the Sikh temple, and funny enough, the late great deer sign that used to hold our attention when the baby Jesus wasn?t sleeping beside it.
After wiping away the tears of laughter the flyer quickly found the bin. But as I walked away, too many questions remained. Who would do such a thing? Obviously an out of towner who truly thought these were Squamish's money shots. However, with the recent logging of the deer sign these plates might be the perfect "last days of old downtown" souvenirs.
I say last days with much hope. After listening to an expensive survey on what the downtown needs I've come to the realization that what it really needs is a good ol' disaster to wipe the whole place down. The buildings are so miss matched and decrepit that the easiest solution would be a localized earthquake, fire or even a tornado. Heck, where's Godzilla when you need him. A b-movie monster rampage!?!? Now that's what we need!! Wipe out Cleveland, wipe out second, wipe out the cozy bungalow's nestled between monster stucco palaces. Either way, when the great cleansing comes the only thing that I really hope survives is the mighty Chieftain sign.
While we wait for the cleansing, downtown ideas continue to run rampant with the one constant being density (aka people). Recently at a public meeting for low rise apartments, several residents had issues. And valid issues they were since these people are directly affected. It does suck when your perfect neighbor of trees and views is about to be developed.
Suggestions were made that the same money could be made by a few expensive homes. Here's the problem, we don't need more expensive homes. Like it or not we need swanky slums, staff housing, call it what you will. There are thousands of Squamptons that have been renting 3 bedroom houses with up to 10 people at a time just to scrape enough money for a down payment. The heart and soul of our town isn't looking at a million dollar second home, the only way into this insane housing market is to buy an apartment. They need apartments and we need density downtown - win win. Now, we have to do it, and do it right with the best design and smallest footprint. That means building up not out. It's only a matter of time and I'd much rather locals prosper when we first scrape the skies of Squamish.