COUNCIL BRIEFS - August 21, 2012
MEETING AT A GLANCE
Download the complete August 21 meeting package online.
Watch the August 21 meeting or archived meetings online.
COMMITTEE OF THE WHOLE
Spearhead Huts Project
Liz Scremin and Rob Brusse made a presentation during Committee of the Whole regarding plans for the Spearhead Huts Project.
The Spearhead Traverse is a popular world class backcountry ski route accessed from Whistler. This unique route, which is entered at one end from Blackcomb Mountain and exited on the other end near Whistler Mountain, through the BC Parks Singing Pass Trail, is 35 kilometres long. At its highest, the route reaches 2,400 metres and is suited for intermediate backcountry skiers. The trek is generally done in three days and two nights, and features spectacular scenery and pristine wilderness.
An initiative is underway to build three huts along the trail and develop a new summer route with the goals of increasing accessibility to the area and extending the season into the summer, although it is anticipated that primary use would remain in winter. The project is intended to provide high quality, low cost recreation opportunities for BC Parks users. The three new huts would be located at Pattison Mountain, Macbeth Mountain and near Russet Lake. The Russet Hut would replace the current small backcountry cabin at Russet Lake and the Pattison Hut would be perched on a ridge higher in elevation than the peak of Whistler Mountain.
The backcountry huts are designed for self-catered hiking experiences and will provide some cooking equipment, sleeping bunks, propane or wood heat, seating and tables, large windows and storage areas for gear and food, and will provide a level of amenities similar to the Jim Haberl or Fairy Meadows Alpine Club of Canada (ACC) huts. All huts are being located and designed to maximize views, sun exposure and appropriate hiking distances along the route.
The huts will be custom designed by an architecture student to accommodate 35 to 40 people and cost a projected $20 to $30 per night. Camping will also be offered. Fees would be established to cover maintenance and operation costs.
The project will be phased from 2012 through 2016. To date, the project has completed an environmental assessment, and has raised $40,000 of the $1.74 million projected. The Spearhead Huts proposal to BC Parks is currently being adjudicated. The proposed plans include construction of one hut per year beginning with the Pattison Hut in summer of 2013.
Although no one tracks the number of people specifically doing the Spearhead Traverse annually, it is estimated to be between 500 and 1,500 people. The group anticipates that the huts will offer a new experience to visitors to the Whistler area, similar to such experiences in Europe, and ultimately draw new visitors, who would likely spend time in the valley before and after their hiking experiences.
The primary issues and concerns facing the project include fundraising and concerns over environmental impacts. The group has provided assurance that huts will be built and operated according to environmental best practices.
The group is looking to the RMOW to provide endorsement of the project; to provide direct funding for trails and huts construction; and to support other fundraising activities.
More information about the project is available at www.spearheadhuts.org.
Eric Scott, Vice President of Flight Operations and Safety for Harbour Air Group made a brief presentation to council during the Committee of the Whole to introduce the company to Whistler. Harbour Air took over the operation of Whistler Air in May 2012.
The company has been operating since 1981 and is Pemberton-owned. It operates 50 aircraft and services several communities on Vancouver Island and the Mainland. Three planes operate out of Whistler offering both charter and scheduled service in the summer season. Scheduled service to Vancouver and Victoria are available. There are no plans for expansion at this time.
Harbour Air has kept the Whistler Air name for its service in and out of Whistler. The company works closely with Kenmore Air (Seattle area) in providing customers with transfer options beyond southern British Columbia.
Scott indicated that the company has committed to its scheduled service, although noted that they are somewhat weather dependent. He indicated that well over 50 per cent of flights fly as scheduled. They acknowledge the challenge presented to customers when scheduled flights must be cancelled, and the company provides shuttle vans to use as a back-up service when flights are not possible.
The company is working with Tourism Whistler to integrate its product into the tourism experience, and to introduce the company to key industry representatives working in and with Whistler. They are also offering local rates and encourage members of the community to check them out.
More information is available at www.harbour-air.com.
A public hearing was held for Zoning Amendment Bylaw (Industrial Service Six Zone) No. 2005, 2012. View the public hearing agenda and package online.
The purpose of the amendment is to rezone lands from IS1 (Industrial Service One) to IS6 (Industrial Service Six) to permit a grocery store use at 1200 Alpha Lake Road. The new zone would limit the size of the store to 300 square metres. No submissions were received, and council gave the bylaw third reading later in the council meeting.
During the July 17 council meeting, council gave first and second readings to the bylaw in question. During the July 17 meeting, council expressed some concern about the proposed development competing with existing services in the Village and did not want this business to have a negative impact on existing businesses. Council authorized staff to schedule a public hearing for this zoning amendment bylaw.
The applicant’s vision for this business is a locally owned and operated neighbourhood grocery/ convenience store serving people living or working in Function Junction and Cheakamus Crossing.
Creation of the IS6 Zone can be seen as a first step toward identifying the changing needs in Function Junction as noted in the 2012-2014 RMOW Corporate Plan.
In the spring of 2012, the RMOW was contacted regarding a proposal to open a grocery store in Function Junction. Review of the applicable zoning, IS1, showed that while retail uses are permitted, groceries were not on the list of permitted uses. The question was raised as to whether groceries could fall under the permitted use “household items.” To that end, staff received a legal opinion from RMOW solicitors clarifying that within the context of Whistler’s Zoning Bylaw 303 this was not the case, thereby necessitating this Rezoning Application.
Passing of Doug Deeks
The mayor expressed her sadness at the news of the death of long-time Whistler resident and friend Doug Deeks, who passed away on August 2 after an extended battle with cancer.
She reported that he completed his career as an Assistant Auditor General of Canada, and after retiring, moved to Whistler with his wife, and stayed active skiing and volunteering.
The mayor reported that the first time she skied the Peak to Valley Race, she skied with him, and he beat her.
In March 2012, Doug was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal by the Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia in recognition of his significant contribution through the Rotary Club of Whistler in assisting First Nations literacy.
The mayor commented that Doug will be sorely missed by the community.
OCP Timeline update
The mayor reported that council had intended to consider first and second reading of the Official Community Plan (OCP) update and provide an information session on August 21, 2012, but that these had been postponed to enable further discussion with the Province and the First Nations.
At the June 19 council meeting, RMOW council approved a process for completing and adopting the OCP update. Following a council workshop on July 17, 2012, council instructed staff to refer the amended OCP to the Province of British Columbia, Squamish Lillooet Regional District, School District No. 48 and First Nations for comments.
The public information session and first and second reading will be rescheduled to allow for further discussion with the Province and First Nations.
The mayor commented that council still hopes complete the updated OCP by the end of 2012.
Whistler Presents: A Summer of Entertainment
The mayor said, “I’m sure you have all been to various concerts this summer” at Whistler Olympic Plaza. Thousands have enjoyed free outdoor concerts at Whistler Olympic Plaza featuring sixteen musical acts to-date from across Canada.
As part of the Whistler Presents concert series, the mayor reported that last month the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra (VSO) performed at Whistler Olympic Plaza and that it was absolutely fantastic. Everyone she had spoken to said the RMOW should be sure to bring the VSO back. Other performances were also great.
She reported that residents and visitors were able to watch broadcasts during the recent London 2012 Olympics on large screens at Whistler Olympic Plaza.
The mayor reported that Tourism Whistler is forecasting summer 2012 room nights to edge up one per cent over summer 2011, and become Whistler's third busiest summer season on record.
The mayor reported that in response to complaints about noise levels at Whistler Olympic Plaza, staff have been monitoring sound levels and a report will be brought forward to council on September 4.
She commented that there are still three more weekends of free concerts and two more Wednesday evening film screenings to go and to see the line-up at whistler.ca/whistlerpresents.
Recreation and Leisure Advisory Committee Membership
The mayor reported that council recently formed a new Recreation and Leisure Advisory Committee (RLAC), and approved the terms of reference for the committee in April. This was a deliverable set out in the Council Action Plan.
Several people applied for membership on the committee, and council selected the following members earlier in the day:
- Michael Blaxland
- Robert Calladine
- Murray Lunn
- Tami Mitchell
- Stephanie Sloan
- Ben Thomas
- Ben Thompson
The mayor commented that Stephanie Sloan was one of the last members of the former Advisory Parks and Recreation Commission. Council also appointed Andree Janyk as the council representative on the committee.
The committee’s purpose is to provide advice to municipal staff and council on the provision and delivery of indoor and outdoor recreation and leisure opportunities, services and issues.
Learning and Education Process
The mayor reported that she was hopeful that council and staff would be able to move forward some of the next steps for the RMOW’s Learning and Education Planning Process at the August 21, 2012 meeting, but that the process had slowed down during the summer.
The goal of the RMOW’s Learning and Education Planning Process is to investigate economic development opportunities for Whistler within the field of learning and education: an area of development, which has been suggested as a complementary sector to tourism for many years by the community.
To help inform and drive the process, the RMOW is seeking the expertise of four to five uniquely qualified individuals to serve on a voluntary basis on the council-appointed task force. The request for expressions of interest for task force members has been extended to September 7.
The RMOW is also seeking a highly skilled project manager to lead the Learning and Education Planning Process. Expressions of interest are due this Friday, August 24.
The mayor reported that she had heard that there was some confusion about the role of the Whistler Education Group (WEG). WEG is a separate unrelated group, which has engaged some British Columbia Institute of Technology summer students to look at educational tourism opportunities for the resort. This would involve groups using resort facilities and accommodations to offer courses and host students. WEG has been working for several months now. The mayor and Chief Administrative Officer Mike Furey, have met with this group and their input will be considered as part of the municipality’s overall review of education and learning opportunities for the resort community.
Lakeside Park celebration
The mayor invited residents and visitors to a family-friendly celebration of the completion of upgrades to Lakeside Park on Friday, August 31 from 4 to 6 p.m.
The celebration includes a kids’ sand castle building contest judged by the mayor, celebratory cake, ribbon cutting, face painting and kids’ crafts. The sand castle contest starts at 4 p.m.
Lakeside Park is one of Whistler’s oldest lakefront parks and the upgrades are part of the RMOW’s commitment to the continual investment and improvement of resort assets such as waterfront parks.
The mayor acknowledged staff for all of their hard work on this project, and commented that, “During the summer and the last six weeks of hot weather, we recognize and appreciate the public access to the waterfront on Whistler’s many lakes.”
Upgrades to Lakeside Park include a new building for washrooms, concession, commercial boat tour and rental operation; renovated beachfront; provisions for commercial boat operations; renovated parking area; additional picnic tables and benches; and improved signage, drainage and landscaping.
Park users and commercial businesses are reminded that the renovated parking area includes dedicated space for drop off and pick up (including boats, people and picnics) and that Lakeside Road cul-de-sac should not be used for these purposes.
Fall and winter recreation guide is now available
The mayor advised that the RMOW’s fall and winter 2012/2013 Recreation Program Guide is now available online at whistler.ca/recreation.
Registration for Whistler residents started on August 19.
Meadow Park Sports Centre will close various parts of its facilities for annual maintenance at different times from August 27 to September 30. Details are available at whistler.ca/meadowpark.
Whistler Public Library’s Birthday
On Saturday, August 25, the Whistler Public Library will celebrate its 26th birthday with storytelling, singing, local children’s performers and cake from 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m.
“I encourage you all to attend and celebrate one of our community’s most cherished resources,” said the mayor.
Whistler Museum Lego building contest
The mayor reported that she will be judging the Whistler Museum’s 16th annual LEGO building contest on Saturday, August 25 from 2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. The contest is open to children ages three to 12. Visit www.whistlermuseum.org for more information.
The mayor reported that during the last five weeks, she had met with a number of groups and individuals from:
- West Trek Tours
- ESL students
- Representatives from the Whistler Film Festival Society
- Whistler Chamber of Commerce
- Brian Atkin from the Ministry of Transportation
- A delegation from Zhangjiajie, China
She had also participated in a Zip Trek tour with Doug Barnett, the fearless 83-year-old father of Bob Barnett, who had purchased a Zip Trek and lunch with the mayor package at the Kathy Barnett memorial lunch.
Whistler’s 2011 Energy Report
Staff provided a presentation, including highlights from Whistler’s 2011 Annual Energy Consumption and Greenhouse Gas Performance (GHG) report.
The report includes a summary of the ongoing energy and emissions performance for the community and RMOW’s internal corporate operations. The RMOW has been tracking a full community inventory of energy consumption and emissions since 2000, and has done a detailed corporate inventory since 2006.
Some highlights include:
- Community GHG Emissions: Whistler has committed to community-level greenhouse gas reductions of 33 per cent by 2020; 80 per cent by 2050; and 90 per cent by 2060. At this point, the community has collectively managed to remain on pace towards its goals over the first four years of the commitment period. Total community GHG emissions in 2011 were approximately 13.5 per cent lower than 2007 levels.
- Community Energy Consumption: According to the report, 2010 and 2011 total estimated community energy consumption were the two highest years ever recorded in Whistler. Total community energy consumption in 2011 was down 4.2 per cent from 2010 levels, but 3.2 per cent higher than 2009, 11 per cent higher than 2000, and more than 100 per cent higher than 1990. Relative to pre-Games levels, the primary drivers of this increase are increased electricity consumption in both the residential and commercial sectors, as well as increases in residential gas consumption. Increases in energy rates continue to outpace the rate of inflation so it is expected that the combined community expenditure will continue to rise faster than Whistler’s collective ability to pay for it – a trend that underscores the importance of increasing both energy conservation and energy efficiency across the community.
- Corporate GHG Emissions: The RMOW’s Carbon Neutral Operations Plan sets the targets for total corporate GHG reductions as follows: 10 per cent by 2010; 20 per cent by 2013; and 30 per cent by 2015 – all relative to 2008 levels. Total corporate GHG emissions in 2010 were 10.8 per cent lower than 2010 levels, and approximately 7 per cent below the benchmark 2008 level (the reference year for RMOW target setting). However, as demonstrated within the full report, corporate emissions were targeted to be more than 10 per cent lower than 2008 levels by now. Over the last few years, the primary source of emission reductions across municipal operations has been natural gas reductions at Meadow Park Sports Centre (MPSC) – emissions from this facility are down more than 35 per cent (260 tCO2e) since 2009.
- Corporate Energy Consumption: Total corporate energy consumption decreased in 2011 by more than 6 per cent. However, this total is considerably higher (26 per cent) than the 2010 target recommended within the RMOW Integrated Energy Plan. Overall, 2011 energy expenditures across municipal operations held constant at $1.7M (this was due to the combined influence of a 6 per cent decrease in consumption, and increases in the unit rates of various energy sources).
Regular public reporting both of community and corporate energy and greenhouse gas emissions performance is a commitment of the Whistler Official Community Plan, the RMOW Carbon Neutral Operations Plan, and the municipality’s council-adopted commitments within the BC Climate Action Charter.
Update provided about Parks and Recreation Fees and Charges Review
Staff provided a presentation to council and council received a report about an upcoming review of parks and recreation fees and charges. The report presents a strategy for considering changes, proposed public engagement, and a timeline for implementation.
The review is currently being undertaken by staff to update the current five-year fee schedules for parks and recreation facilities and Meadow Park Sports Centre (MPSC) admission and passes. These fee schedules expire December 31, 2012. The report also provides an update on the status of a review of the municipality’s Recreation Assistance Program, the Parks and Recreation Facility Fee Schedule and the Parks and Recreation Admission and Pass Fee Schedules.
Staff would like to extend the current MPSC rate structure until March 31, 2013, at which time new rates would be implemented. This would also coincide with the transition from the harmonized sales tax to provincial sales tax April 1, 2013.
A number of factors currently affect municipal recreation revenues and costs, including the current economic downturn, two good skiing winters in a row, increased competition from the local commercial fitness sector, as well as skaters choosing the new municipal Village skating amenity instead of the indoor rink at MPSC. , As well, recent requests by the RMOW to the Village of Pemberton and the Squamish Lillooet Regional District to provide an annual financial contribution to offset their residents’ portion of subsidized use of MPSC have been turned down. Given that there is a subsidy paid by Whistler’s taxpayers of approximately $137,000 on behalf of Pemberton and Electoral Area “C” users, staff are considering how to best recover this amount through our user-fee structure. Recreation facilities and programs are often subsidized in part by the regional municipalities that use them.
Staff anticipate proposing changes to the MPSC Admission and Pass Fee Schedule structure, including resident/ property owner discounts, which will benefit residents/property owners while assisting in realizing incremental revenue for MPSC. The newly appointed Recreation and Leisure Advisory Committee will review what is being proposed, and other public consultation feedback opportunities will be provided in the form of targeted user surveys over the next few months.
The proposed changes will be presented to council in the coming months in the form of two new five-year fee bylaws: one that contains facility rental fee schedules for all municipally-owned and operated parks, fields and facilities; and another that contains a fee schedule for admissions and passes at the Meadow Park Sports Centre. A policy report will also update the Parks and Recreation Council Policy regarding fees and charges accordingly.
Mons sub-area inventory presented
Council received a report that provides an inventory of the Mons Sub-Area.
During the review of the Draft OCP at the July 17 Committee of the Whole Meeting, council directed staff to add the development of a sub-area plan for the Mons area. Staff have initiated an inventory of land area, existing uses and development, development potential under existing zoning, development proposed under current zoning applications, and comparative development potential by site for the Mons Sub-area.
The Mons Sub-Area lands comprise 40 hectares of relatively accessible and flat lands, centrally-located 2km north of Whistler Village. Similar to Function Junction, the Mons lands are located adjacent the Highway 99, are bound on one side by rail tracks and are transected by BC Hydro transmission lines. The Mons area, however, is in closer proximity to existing residential, campground and recreation (golf) development.
The existing zoning on the sub-area lands varies with many permitted uses ranging from resource and service uses, low density detached dwelling residential use, commercial and industrial uses, utility storage and unloading facilities.
The report identifies approximately 6,920 square metres of developed gross floor area in the Sub-Area, with an unrealized development potential under the existing zoning of approximately 4,742 square metres bringing this total to approximately 11,662 square metres on the 40 hectares of land. By comparison, the existing developed gross floor area in Function Junction is 42, 609 square metres with an additional development potential on undeveloped lands of approximately 13, 191 square metres under existing zoning, bringing this total to approximately 55,800 square metres on the 24 hectares of land.
Community engagement so far has involved consultation with property owners, commercial realtors and leasing agents. Further sub-plan area development will require additional community engagement and consultation.
There are currently three open rezoning applications and one pending rezoning application for sites in the Mons Sub-Area, including the following:
- A rezoning of 8017 Highway 99 from RSE1 (Residential Single Estate One) to a new CTI1 (Community and Transportation One) zone to provide industrial type uses supporting community and transportation infrastructure and civic uses, and amend the Official Community Plan to support such uses. On November 15, 2011 council gave third reading to Zoning Amendment Bylaw (Community and Transportation Infrastructure One) No. 1860, 2008. Consideration of adoption of these bylaws was made at the August 21 meeting subject to meeting several conditions (see related story later in this newsletter).
- A rezoning of the BC Transit Facility, located at 8011 Highway 99, from RSE1 (Residential Single Estate One) to a new CTI2 (Community and Transportation Two) zone to permit passenger transportation vehicle parking, maintenance, repair, fueling and administration facilities, auxiliary buildings and auxiliary uses. Council gave first and second readings to Zoning Amendment Bylaw (BC Transit Site), No. 2012, 2012 for this application later during the meeting (see related story in this newsletter).
- A rezoning of 8069 Mons Court to amend the CI1 (Commercial Industrial One) zone to add landscaping services, taxi and limousine dispatch, maintenance and storage yard and testing laboratory as permitted uses to legitimize existing uses on the property. There was no request for additional density. This rezoning application was forwarded to council on June 16, 2008 recommending that council endorse further processing and authorize staff to hold a public open house. Council referred the application back to staff for possible interim measures. No further processing of this application has occurred since June 2008.
- Proposed rezoning of 8021 Mons Road to legitimize the existing uses, and to consider additional development on the site. The manger of planning recently met with representatives for the 1.95 hectare property, which is currently zoned RR1 and has approximately 1,570 square metres of existing development. The current zoning does not accommodate all of the uses on the site.
Second quarter investment report received
Council received a report of the RMOW’s second quarter investments.
The second quarter report showed investment holdings of the Municipality at June 30, 2012, had a market value of $76,219,210 (2011 - $73,955,851).
The municipality holds investment balances in order to earn investment income on cash that is not currently required for operations, projects or capital purposes. Cash held for capital purposes often makes up the largest portion of the investment holdings, as it is savings accumulated over time and will not be expended until years in the future. Operating cash balances also exist, particularly in June and July when most property tax payments are received by the Municipality. Investment holdings are often at their lowest in the months just prior to the property tax collection date.
Investment income, including changes in market values, for the twelve months ended June 20, 2012 was $581,689 (unaudited). This is 35 per cent of the total budgeted investment income for the year and an overall annualized return of 1.90 per cent of the average monthly investment balances. Most investment income is allocated to reserves to fund future expenditures and the remainder is allocated to operations throughout the year. During the second quarter, investment types were expanded to include a series of term deposits that mature over one to eleven month terms and help to facilitate monthly cash flow requirements.
Development Variance Permit approved for 3005 Brio Entrance
Council approved a development variance permit for 3005 Brio Entrance, including six variances to construct a garage, carport and parking area for their bed and breakfast.
The applicant noted that the location of the existing bed and breakfast dwelling on the property is a hardship to providing covered, secure off street parking within the existing bylaw regulations.
Public consultation was carried out via notices that were sent by mail and hand delivered by the RMOW’s bylaw department to the surrounding property owners and tenants in July 2012. Two neighbours were not supportive of the variance request and two were supportive as long as trees were planted to mitigate the privacy loss.
Staff reviewed the proposal and supported the variance requests subject to the existing damaged cedar trees being replaced at the southern side of the property. Staff spoke with the neighbour to the south and the subject property owner and they are agreeable to replacing the existing cedar trees with new replacement trees to increase the privacy between the properties.
Council endorses amendment to Land Use Procedures and Fee Amendment bylaw
Council provided first three readings to Land Use Procedures and Fees Amendment Bylaw No. 2008, 2012. This amendment establishes a fee structure for covenant modification for detached or duplex dwellings to exclude basement floor area from Gross Floor Area (GFA) calculations, in cases where a covenant (rather than the zoning bylaw) limits GFA. Council also endorsed a proposed process for covenant modification.
The proposed fee and process for a covenant modification are consistent with council’s intention to apply the same basement gross floor area exclusion to detached and duplex dwellings not regulated by the Zoning Bylaw.
The RMOW’s existing Land Use Procedures and Fees Bylaw No. 1821, 2007 deals with bylaw amendment and permit types including amendment of land use contracts, however, it does not have a fee schedule for a covenant modification.
The proposed amendment bylaw addresses covenant modification applications and proposes a flat fee of $300 plus other costs such as staff time, title search, legal services, notification, as required. This is the same fee structure as a delegated development permit and the process and fees are anticipated to be similar. The combination of a base fee and an hourly rate charge proposed in the bylaw will create a fair, equitable, and transparent system.
As part of the proposed covenant modification process, a homeowner will be required to submit a copy of the covenant, and building drawings, which illustrate and quantify the basement floor area for exclusion. If the floor area is consistent with the permitted exclusion, staff will instruct the municipal solicitor to prepare the appropriate covenant modification document. Once the owner has signed and returned the document, they will be forwarded to the mayor and corporate officer for signing and then staff will submit the document for registration at the Land Title Office.
Staff recommended the process not require that a sign be placed on site or that a public notification process be undertaken. Given that the modification must be consistent with the Zoning Bylaw definition for basement floor area exclusion, a public notification process may be inconsistent with intentions to streamline development approval processes and create more efficient delivery of services.
Council also received information about the existing process and fee structure for a land use contract amendment as outlined in RMOW’s existing Land Use Procedures and Fees Bylaw No. 1821, 2007. For all land use contract amendment applications, Bylaw No. 1821 has an established flat fee of $1,500 plus other costs such as staff time, title search, and legal services fee as necessary. The flat fee reflects the additional costs for advertising and notification for a public hearing. The Local Government Act requires any land use contract amendment, or discharge, which relates to density or use of an area covered by the contract to be amended by bylaw with a public hearing and the appropriate notification.
For a covenant modification or a land use contract amendment application where there is a strata corporation and the amendment applies to common property or limited common property, the application requires written support from all strata owners as they all share a proportional interest in these common areas. In addition, the owner is still subject to their own strata bylaws and compliance with their bylaws is a matter of enforcement between the strata owner and their strata council.
The Land Use Procedures and Fees Amendment Bylaw No. 2008, 2012 is part of the continued work of the council-appointed Illegal Space Task Force to address a long-standing issue of illegal development and use of crawlspaces in Whistler homes.
Addressing the issue of illegal space in Whistler was identified as a council priority in the 2012-2014 Council Action Plan.
Zoning bylaw clarified to exclude drive-in and drive-through restaurants from “restaurant” definition
At the direction of council at their July 17 council meeting, staff brought forward a Zoning Amendment Bylaw (Restaurant Uses) No. 2014, 2012 to exclude drive-in and drive-through restaurants from the definition of “restaurant”, across all zones in the Zoning Bylaw, unless expressly provided otherwise.
Council gave first and second readings to bylaw, which also proposes amending the LC5 zone to allow for the existing drive-through restaurant at 4370 Lorimer Road in the Marketplace.
Any requests in the future for a drive-in or drive-through restaurant in a zone that allows for restaurant use would require a zoning amendment.
Council also authorized staff to schedule a public hearing for this bylaw.
Rezoning of BC Transit site endorsed by council
Council received an application from BC Transit to amend Zoning and Parking Bylaw 303 to rezone the BC Transit Facility, located at 8011 Highway 99, to permit passenger transportation vehicle parking, maintenance, repair, fueling and administration facilities, auxiliary buildings and auxiliary uses. At their meeting, council gave first and second readings to Zoning Amendment Bylaw (BC Transit Site), No. 2012, 2012, and first and second readings to Official Community Plan Amendment Bylaw (BC Transit Site), No. 2013, 2012. The rezoning application was required because while BC Transit is exempt from municipal land use bylaws; third party users are not.
During the July 17 council meeting, council directed staff to bring forward a rezoning application for the BC Transit Facility to utilize available capacity at the facility for commercial passenger carriers to support operation of the facility.
The current facility includes a bus wash, diesel fueling station, hydrogen fueling station, operations and maintenance facility, and covered and uncovered bus parking. The facility was built in 2010 to support an operating fleet of 50 transit buses, however, the existing facility is underutilized as the current bus fleet operates with 23 buses. BC Transit’s business case presents commercial opportunities to maximize the utilization of the existing assets to generate ancillary revenue to be shared with the municipality to support funding transit.
The rezoning will enable surplus capacity at the site to be used to generate revenue that will be applied to offset transit costs. The contracts already secured by BC Transit will generate $17,000 in the first year directly to the municipality, with that increasing to approximately $20,000 in subsequent years. The money would be put back into transit service, and the funding formula for transit costs (47 per cent BC Transit and 53 per cent RMOW) works to the municipality’s advantage. For example, the municipality purchases approximately $40,000 worth of annual transit service with the $20,000 of annual revenue. BC Transit’s contacts with third party users present no cost and no risk for the RMOW.
There was discussion by council about working with BC Transit to improve site remediation and drainage, landscaping, and the installation of night-sky friendly lighting.
8017 Highway 99 rezoning adoption considered
Council considered adoption of Zoning Amendment Bylaw (Community and Transportation Infrastructure One) No. 1860, 2008 and Official Community Plan Amendment Bylaw (Mons Industrial Land) No. 1859, 2008 for 8017 Highway 99.
In 2007, Mons Holdings Ltd. and NSW Holdings Ltd. applied to rezone 8017 Highway 99 from RSE1 (Residential Single Estate One) to a new CTI1 (Community and Transportation One) zone to provide industrial type uses supporting community and transportation infrastructure and civic uses, and amend the Official Community Plan to support such uses.
RMOW staff presented six administrative reports ranging from December 2007 to November 2011, and held two public hearings in 2008 and 2009 for the proposed zoning and OCP amendment bylaws.
On November 15, 2011 council gave third reading to Zoning Amendment Bylaw (Community and Transportation Infrastructure One) No. 1860, 2008 and on July 7, 2008 Council gave third reading to Official Community Plan Amendment Bylaw (Mons Industrial Land) No. 1859, 2008.
In 2009 council requested that the following conditions be established for the proposed rezoning.
- Receipt of a registered easement or road dedication from BC Hydro to provide access on the adjacent BC Hydro property from Highway 99 to the subject site to the satisfaction of the RMOW or suitable alternative to the satisfaction of the RMOW.
- Road and intersection plans to be approved by the Engineering Department and the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure; and
- A right of way to be registered on the portion of lands adjacent to Highway 99 and the CN Rail line to allow the pedestrian and trail bridge to be constructed.
According to the August 21, 2012 staff report, these conditions have been met to the satisfaction of the RMOW.
The proposed zoning amendment bylaw is an amenity bylaw. Base density for the site would be 500 square metres, however, the bylaw provides for additional density subject to the owner providing several amenities (see section 22.214.171.124, 126.96.36.199 and 188.8.131.52 of the report). Upon receipt of the amenities the owner may subdivide the lands and construct floor area beyond 500 square metres. Maximum building floor area beyond 500 square metres would be regulated by building height, site coverage and building setbacks, in addition to setbacks from watercourses established in the general regulations of Zoning Bylaw 303. An estimate of the absolute maximum building floor area potential in the zone ranges from 32,144 square metres, if developed with two-storey buildings to 48,220 square metres, if developed with three storey buildings
During the OCP update process the development potential of the site was reviewed with the applicant who indicated that the actual development potential would be significantly less given that industrial uses need site area for parking, loading, vehicle movement, storage and outdoor facilities.
There was significant discussion by council about this rezoning application, including the following themes:
- Concern about the lack of detail in the proposal; and the need for more of a plan of what this is going to be;
- Concern that development of this site could compete with existing uses and development potential in Function Junction;
- Concern about the current buffer between the development and Highway 99 and the importance of view corridors for the visitor experience;
- Concern about the maximum building floor area potential of the site, provided amenities are provided in exchange for additional density.
Council received the report and provided direction to staff to provide clarification concerning:
- The tree buffer between the property and Highway 99;
- Permitted uses on the site; and
- Developable gross floor area.
RBC GranFondo Whistler Special Occasion License
Council endorsed a Special Occasion License (SOL) application for a beer garden at Whistler Olympic Plaza as part of the celebration area for the RBC GranFondo Whistler on Saturday, September 8, 2012. The RBC GranFondo is a large scale, fully-supported 120km bike ride with 7,000 participants along the Sea to Sky highway from Vancouver to Whistler.
Service hours requested for the beer garden are from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. with a last call at 3:30 p.m. The requested maximum capacity is 2,500 for the Plaza due to the participant demographic, location of venue, and timing of the event.
All riders 19 years and over will be identified with a non-transferable coloured wrist bracelet confirming proper identification was shown. Only people with this bracelet will be allowed in the beer garden and served alcohol. Non-participants may obtain a bracelet on site with proof of age. Professional security will be positioned throughout the licensed area and Plaza.
Special Occasion Licenses are issued by the provincial Liquor Distribution Branch and require approval by the Whistler detachment of the RCMP. RMOW staff supported the SOL application, subject to Fire, RCMP, and council approval.
Permissive Tax Exemptions report postponed
A Permissive Tax Exemptions report and its associated bylaws were removed from the council agenda. The report was postponed as further analysis is required. The report and three bylaws will be brought forward at a future meeting for council’s consideration and adoption prior to October 31, 2012.
MINUTES OF COMMITTEES AND COMMISSIONS
Council received minutes from the Liquor License Advisory Committee meeting of March 8, 2012 and the Audit and Finance Standing Committee meeting of June 14, 2012.
BYLAWS FOR FIRST AND SECOND READINGS
Council gave first and second readings to Official Community Plan Amendment Bylaw (BC Transit Site) No. 2013, 2012. The purpose of the amendment to the Official Community Plan is to designate the lands a development area, a service commercial area and water and sewer area.
Council gave first and second readings to Zoning Amendment Bylaw (BC Transit Site) No. 2012, 2012. The purpose of the amendment is to rezone the lands to permit motor vehicle maintenance and storage use.
Council gave first and second readings to Zoning Amendment Bylaw (Restaurant Uses) No. 2014, 2012. The purpose of the amendment is to define "restaurant" to exclude drive-in and drive-through restaurants.
BYLAWS FOR FIRST, SECOND AND THIRD READINGS
Council gave first, second and third readings to Land Use Procedures and Fees Amendment Bylaw No. 2008, 2012. This bylaw establishes a procedure and fee structure for covenant modification for detached or duplex dwellings to exclude basement floor area from Gross Floor Area (GFA) calculations, in cases where a covenant or land use contract (rather than the zoning bylaw) limits GFA.
BYLAWS FOR THIRD READING
Council gave third reading to Zoning Amendment Bylaw (Industrial Service Six Zone) No. 2005, 2012, to rezone lands from IS1 (Industrial Service One) to IS6 (Industrial Service Six) to permit a grocery store use at 1200 Alpha Lake Road. The new zone limits the size of the store to 300 square metres. A public hearing for this bylaw took place earlier in the meeting and no submissions were received by council.
BYLAWS FOR ADOPTION
Council adopted Building and Plumbing Regulation Amendment Bylaw No. 2007, 2012. The purpose of the amendment is to establish an Occupancy Permit process that may permit homeowners to legitimize illegally developed crawlspace or basement areas.
Council received correspondence from:
- Wayne and Inge-Lise Dannhauer, dated July 24, 2012, requesting that the cul-de-sac at Helm Place in Nordic Estates be re-paved. This letter was referred to staff for follow-up.
- Kleo Landucci, dated July 19, 2012, expressing concerns regarding safety for those climbing on the Olympic Rings. There was discussion about the safety and maintenance of the rings and concerns about the liability of the RMOW. This letter was referred to staff for follow-up.
- Sherry and Alex Klopfer, dated July 20, 2012, objecting to concerts held in Olympic Plaza.
- Bob Osterman, dated July 23, 2012, regarding concerns for accessibility in Whistler based on a recent visit.
- Peter C. Lang, on behalf of OKA Holdings, regarding comments, concerns, recommendations and requests for the working draft of the Official Community Plan and its impact on the properties on the Alpha Creek Lands. This letter was referred to staff for follow-up.
- Heath Slee, President of the Union of British Columbia Municipalities, dated July 18, 2012, advising of distribution of the first of two Community Works Fund (CWF) payments pursuant to the Agreement on the Transfer of Federal Gas Tax Revenues.
- Shachi Kurl, Director of Provincial Affairs for the Canadian Federation of Independent Business, dated July 9, 2012, regarding the results of their annual 2012 property tax report and inviting an official response to their findings. This letter was referred to the Finance and Audit Committee for discussion.
- Susan McEvoy, Secretary for Federal Electoral Boundaries Commission for British Columbia, dated July 31, 2012, regarding a proposal for a new map of federal electoral districts in BC and opportunities for public input. Council will request the federal government to bring Pemberton back into the Sea to Sky electoral riding.
- Grant Ward, Chair of the Fraser Valley Regional Library Board, dated July 30, 2012, inviting participation in a one-day conference titled "The Future of Libraries and Cities" on Tuesday, October 23, 2012.
- Caterina Alberti, dated August 1, 2012, requesting that September 21st be proclaimed the International Day of Peace and that September 21st to September 27th be proclaimed as a week of Peace. Council made these proclamations. Whistler is a member city of Mayors for Peace, an international organization based out of Hiroshima, Japan, which strives to raise international public awareness about the need to abolish nuclear weapons and to contribute to the realization of genuine and lasting world peace through a variety of humanitarian efforts.