This page provides information about the MCRC community engagement activities that happened in 2020.
For the most current update to community, please see the main project page.
Designing the new complex
In February 2020, Council authorized Musqueam Capital Corporation (MCC) to take over project management for the MCRC. This transition occurred after the unexpected loss of the original project manager, who was a long-time partner and friend of Musqueam. At this time, Musqueam Council also approved hiring Aquilini Development for design and construction following a request for proposal process. Shortly after, Urban Arts Architecture was hired as the MCRC architects. Together, Musqueam Administration, MCC, Aquilini and Urban Arts make up the MCRC Project Team.
In spring and summer 2020, the team created a project vision and guiding principles and worked to confirm the project scope. The name of the project changed from the Multi-Family Affordable Rental Housing project to the Musqueam Community Rental Complex (MCRC) to better reflect who the project will house and how the space will be used.
After Lot 95 was selected in 2019, a site analysis was prepared. It looked at the local context, our CCP and the Land Use Plan to ensure our community vision for the future was carefully considered.
The natural systems of the site were assessed, including existing slopes, prevailing winds, and sun and shade at the site. The site analysis also evaluated the neighbouring properties to understand how the new buildings will interact with existing buildings. Site setbacks were determined, which is the distance that a building must be set back from the property line. We also looked closely at existing site access, particularly how local neighbours access their homes. This is done to preserve and enhance the neighbour’s access to their homes.
On June 15, 2020, the MCRC project team presented a conceptual design update to council in preparation for community engagement in late summer 2020. Multiple design options were presented, including three site layouts, two townhome designs, and three examples of apartment building height.
Community input on site concepts
On August 20, 2020, the project launched the second phase of community engagement, this time focusing specifically on the site design concepts. The MCRC project team presented three different site concept strategies and our recommendation for the site.
There were two ways to learn about the site concepts:
- Online Survey
- While completing the online survey, there were video links to pre-recorded presentations by Ouri Scott, the project’s architect
- The presentation information was also available on the Musqueam website
- Information Session (online)– Wednesday, September 2, 2020
- Presentation from Ouri Scott, project architect
- Q&A and support to complete the survey
We asked for community feedback on the concepts through a survey. Question topics included project height and density, building amenities and how we want to represent Musqueam culture throughout the complex. The survey was open from August 20 – September 7.
Due to COVID-19, information normally presented in-person was presented through four pre-recorded videos. Members were invited to watch the videos, read the information on the website and answer the online survey. The survey was anonymous and comprised of 18 questions. Read more about survey results below.
In addition to the videos, a virtual information session was held on September 2, where the architect presented the site concepts in a 30-minute presentation. Originally, two information sessions were planned in August for this engagement phase, using a hybrid method of in-person and online. Due to two deaths in our community and rising cases of Covid-19, including a community outbreak within our relatives at Squamish Nation, the sessions were cancelled and postponed. Read more about the session below.
After this engagement phase, the feedback from community helped inform Musqueam Council in deciding which project site to move forward with.
Watch the first presentation video to hear an introduction about the project and information on this stage of the design.
Community engagement strategy
The MCRC Project Team’s engagement strategy for input about the site concepts included:
- Online survey with accompanying videos explaining the site design concepts
- MIB website: written information with same content from the videos
- Online information session with presentation from Urban Arts and a Q&A session
The site concepts survey, information session and website were promoted through:
- Direct email list to members who signed up at previous information sessions
- Musqueam Facebook Page & Event
- Musqueam website
- All-staff emails
- Info session
MCRC Community Survey 2020
The MCRC Site Concept Community Survey was open August 20 – September 7. It was anonymous, and asked 18 questions about demographics and feedback on the proposed site concepts. The 32 respondents who completed the survey represented full demographics of the community, including 31 Musqueam band members and one community member living in a Musqueam household.
What we heard
- Members favoured Site Concept Option A2
- The mixture of unit sizes chosen during the earlier request-for-proposal stage reasonably matches the needs of the surveyed community members
- Musqueam members residing off-reserve preferred higher density and higher building height
- Members residing on-reserve preferred lower density and lower building height
- Participants were in favour of in-suite laundry
- Concerns were raised about parking availability as members often have more than one vehicle
- Amenity spaces favoured by the community include:
- a children playground area
- outdoor gathering area with covered portion and BBQ
- garden plots
- large multi-purpose room to accommodate 10 to 20 people
- secure bike storage
Information session 2020
A virtual information session was held on Zoom Webinar on September 2. There were 22 Musqueam members attendees, two councillors and 16 members of the project team, including staff from Musqueam Administration, Musqueam Capital Corp., Urban Arts Architecture and Aquilini Development.
The project architect gave a 30-minute presentation about the site design concepts, and there was about an hour and a half of Q&A with community. Most comments and questions from the session focused on the overall governance and operation of the facility. Questions included project details on construction hours/duration, how to apply for housing, enforcement and management and how the site was chosen.
The following concerns brought up during the discussion are regarding the site concepts:
- High-density development on Lot 95
- Proposed daycare spaces and parking
- How the creek will be protected
Concerns were also raised related to governance and operation of the facility:
- Security and bylaw enforcement
- Third-party administration/property management
- The application/selection process for tenants and accommodation of members on the housing waiting list
- Musqueam involvement during construction
A full summary of the community information session, including answers to questions raised, is available in PDF form here.
The original site concepts contemplated up to 74 units. After reviewing feedback from the community survey and considering input from the neighbours, the proposed density was reduced.
Musqueam Council approved the site option with the lowest density that includes 46 rental units and three detached buildings:
- Apartment: 36 suites, 1-3 bedrooms, including three accessible suites
- Townhomes: 10 3-bedroom units, each with a secondary (‘granny’) suite
- Daycare: New childcare facilities for up to 28 children.
The design follows best practices for storm water management, protecting the proposed development from flooding, protecting the creek and not exposing neighbours to a risk of flooding.
Using the feedback from the survey and information session, a briefing note was submitted to Musqueam Council on September 16, 2020 to report on the input and recommend an option to proceed to design development.
The following motion was adopted by C&C:
Chief and Council of the Musqueam Indian Band authorise the Project Team to proceed with design development of the following conceptual design options for the Musqueam Community Rental Complex:
- Option A – Three detached buildings for an apartment complex, townhomes, and daycare,
- Option A2 – Ten three story townhomes option c/w ten lock-off suites (aka granny suites), with access and parking on east side of building and backyards on west side,
- 34-unit, four story apartment building,
- Daycare building sized for up to 69 children of which initial spare capacity to be utilized for office space.