August 11, 2015 9:39 pm
Updated: August 12, 2015 1:32 am

Major development planned for Horseshoe Bay

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WATCH: The Sewell family has plans for a major development in Horseshoe Bay. Elaine Yong has the story.

In the height of summer, Horseshoe Bay bustles with tourists and ferry passengers.

But in a few months time the village’s population will drop down to just 1,000 people.

The Sewell family, now in its fourth generation running Sewell’s Marina, is proposing a major waterfront redevelopment that they say will revitalize the community.

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The 171-unit complex would go on the existing parking lot behind the marina.

Dan Sewell says the proposed development will be “taking over two-and-a-half acres of blacktop and putting it underground and turning it into homes and green space and then enhancing the waterfront. It’s a dream. We’re excited about it.”

Excitement has been building since the Sewells first approached the community with the idea of redevelopment six years ago. Since then, there have been many meetings with stakeholders and consultation with residents and businesses.

Holly Kemp runs Troll’s Restaurant, another local institution, and she also heads the business association. She says many Horseshoe Bay residents see this as a community project.

“It’s going to bring in density, which is what we need,” she said.

“Horseshoe Bay needs a facelift. We need a little bit of an upgrade.”

The proposal is now before West Vancouver City Council, which will look at the rezoning application next month.

Councillor Michael Lewis says the proposal “adds to the business community, makes it a bit more vibrant, makes it more viable, and perhaps will allow us and other merchants to develop services that aren’t available currently to the local residents.”

There will be a formal public hearing as part of the process. But in the initial report to council, city staff says, at first blush, the development is compatible with Horseshoe Bay’s attitude, spirit and existing character.

“We’re looking forward,” said Sewell. “We’ve only got one chance to do it and we want to do it right.”

-With files from Elaine Yong

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