COUNCIL BRIEFS - November 15, 2011
MEETING AT A GLANCE
Click here to view the full Council package for November 15, 2011.
Just in time for Whistler’s Welcome Week, a bold awareness campaign, Walk Safe, is being launched with an aim to change behaviours and ultimately, protect young adults, youth and children at night. With darkness setting in early evening during the winter season, pedestrians need to ensure they are visible walking through town and across roadways at night.
Constable Tara Merrie of the RCMP gave a presentation to council regarding the Walk Safe Campaign. The campaign demonstrates that by taking simple precautions and understanding safety hazards, the community can reduce serious and fatal accidents between vehicles and pedestrians in Whistler.
Seasonal workers just arriving to Whistler are often surprised to see the beauty of surrounding mountains in the night sky. Lighting Whistler streets and roadways is designed to enhance the resort’s natural beauty, while the brightly-lit pedestrian walkways of the Village stroll and parts of the Valley Trail guide residents and visitors to village amenities. Transitioning from the stroll across Highway 99 and into Whistler subdivisions, pedestrians may not realize how dark the streets are, and how drivers often have difficulty seeing walkers crossing roadways.
With this reality, candid messages for Walk Safe highlight how making yourself visible while walking across Whistler roadways at night can in fact, save your life. Using a reflector, head lamp, reflective clothing or staying on lit trails, using crosswalks and walking facing traffic can each make a huge difference for a pedestrian to be visible at night. As part of the new Walk Safe campaign, 5,000 reflectors will be distributed for free to the target group to promote pedestrian safety.
The Walk Safe public service campaign, initiated by Whistler’s Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) and the Whistler Fire Rescue Services, is a partnership with the Resort Municipality of Whistler and the Whistler Blackcomb Foundation. Together, with support from local media, business owners and schools, Walk Safe aims become an essential component of life in Whistler.
Learn more and stay tuned for updates on the Walk Safe program at www.whistler.ca/walksafe.
Luge World Cup
Nicole Simon- Zirnhelt, Canadian Luge Association gave a presentation regarding the Whistler Luge World Cup on December 9 and 10, 2011.
This is the first international Luge event to visit Whistler since the 2010 Olympic Games. The event will include 15 nations and 110 athletes, bringing an estimated 1,000 room nights to Whistler during the event. The Luge World Cup will be broadcast internationally, including on TSN nationally.
The community focused event will offer tickets at 10 dollars per day. Tickets will be available at www.whistler.com. Family friendly events will include Luge demonstrations in Village Square, fireworks each event day and a photo booth.
Whistler will be host the Luge World Championship in January 2013.
Nordic Trails on the Nicklaus North Golf Club
Craig Mackenzie, Whistler Nordics Ski Club, gave a presentation to council regarding the grooming of the Nordic trails on the Nicklaus North Golf Club this season.
Mackenzie expressed his concerns over council’s decision to not groom the Nicklaus North Golf Club portion of the trail network this year, a decision that was a result of the cuts associated with the $1.2 million reductions announced in the RMOW service review earlier this Fall.
In previous years, the RMOW groomed approximately four kilometres of Nicklaus North trails. This accounts for approximately 13 per cent of the trail network in the previous years of operation (4 km out of 32 km). This equates to approximately $30,000 in total budgeted grooming and patrol costs on an annual basis.
By not grooming Nicklaus North trails and moving to groom the multi-use trails primarily by snowmobile groomer, it is estimated that the RMOW would save approximately $40,000 in operating costs. Most of the savings will be achieved by eliminating one of three seasonal full time grooming positions while other savings will be realized in decreased fuel costs, equipment maintenance costs, set up/take down and patrol/trail maintenance staffing costs.
The service review process did not include a public consultation process prior to decisions being made on which individual functional areas were to be reduced. However, both the Nicklaus North Golf Course and Whistler Nordics were subsequently made aware of the service reduction and the corresponding rationale.
Rationale for closing Nicklaus North trails
- Least used trails in the Lost Lake trail network.
- Highest percentage of non-paying or restricted users (walkers and dogs). 2010/2011 season spot checks indicated this percentage was 40%.
- Most difficult trails to set up/maintain/take down.
- Most difficult trails to patrol for proximity reasons and nature of clientele using these trails (some are verbally abusive to staff and volunteers).
- Last trails to be open and first to close on a seasonal basis.
- Trails are most subject to rain, sun and wind as well as restricted users (walkers and dogs) damage.
- Allows for greatest degree of operational saving from set up/take down, grooming and patrol savings perspective.
- There are no rental or lesson services available at the Nicklaus North location which is what most beginner skiers require in this area.
- The Nicklaus North trails have several uncontrolled access areas/points.
- Still a good number and percentage of beginner trails offered in Lost Lake trail network.
All customers phoning or showing up in person at the Meadow Park Sports Centre to purchase any type of seasons pass (Lost Lake pass, either dual area pass or the tri area pass) are being made aware of the service reduction as part of the pass sale process.
Mayor Melamed reflected on this term of council.
He commented on the outstanding Cornucopia and Masquerave events that took place this past weekend and congratulated all of the organizers. It was a good time out from the busy election process.
Governing can be challenge in a leading resort community like Whistler. In one of the toughest economic times that we have seen in decades, there is a high degree of complexity that speaks volumes about this council’s ability to deliver in these difficult circumstances.
There were a lot of complicated decisions that came before this council. The current term provided a challenge at the level that Mayor Melamed has not seen during his time on council.
Mayor Melamed acknowledged the issues this council has faced including the waste water treatment plant, asphalt plant, and pay parking.
Despite the obstacles and complicated tasks faced by council, Whistler hosted and delivered one of the best Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games in history, under budget. This council saw the completion of a several big projects including: an upgraded waste water treatment plant; the addition of a composter; a debris barrier for flood protection, finished under budget; the day lot upgrades; signing a First Nations land agreement; constructing two new neighbourhoods - Rainbow and Cheakamus Crossing; resolution of the resident housing shortage; completion and grand opening of Whistler Olympic Plaza; completing a comprehensive service review of transit; enhanced community communications and launching a new municipal website with improved functionality.
Mayor Melamed acknowledged the work, commitment and time of council, staff and the community. He acknowledged the increasing levels of engagement in the community.
The legacy left by this council is one of belt-tightening and fiscal prudence.
Mayor Melamed invited council members to say a few words and reflect on their term.
Councillor C. Quinlan reflected on how well Whistler2020 fed into the Official Community Plan (OCP) update process and remarked on the direction of Whistler 2020 going forward. Quinlan commented on the success of the 2010 Winter Games, and the honour he felt in representing Whistler. Councillor Quinlan thanked the community for their support. He thanked council for working with and adopting the Long Term Financial Plan. Councillor Quinlan also commented on the transit service and the service review. He looks forward to the next three years.
Councillor G. Lamont commented on support of his friends and sacrifices from his family throughout this term.
Councillor T. Thomson acknowledged the outstanding three-year period. He reported on hosting the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games and representing Whistler at municipal conferences in Toronto and Halifax. He commented on the citizens of Whistler who made the 2010 Games happen, bringing Whistler national and international respect. He commented on the work of municipal staff and thanked them. He acknowledged the legacy and success of Whistler Olympic Plaza.
Looking ahead, Councillor Thompson mentioned, the future for Whistler is boundless. Whistler is only as good as we make it. And with the help of staff and council, he felt Whistler is and will continue to be a fantastic place.
Councillor R. Forsyth stated that is has been honour to serve on council and thanked everyone for the opportunity.
Councillor T. Milner stated that it has been a pleasure to serve of council. The 2010 Olympic (and Paralympic) Winter Games were a highlight of his term.
Click here to listen to the entire report.
COUNCIL COMMITTEE REPORTS
Councillor C. Quinlan gave an update on the last One Whistler meeting, involving Whistler Blackcomb, Tourism Whistler, Whistler Chamber of Commerce, and RMOW Council. The objective of these meetings is to ensure there is no duplication of services and to make sure all organizations are on the same page.
Councillor Quinlan commented on a presentation from the District of Squamish on their Economic Development plan.
The Special Occasion Licensing Task Force met for first time and included phenomenal participation from resort partners.
Councillor G. Lamont commented on solid waste recyclables in the community. The Whistler Community Services Society (WCSS) has opened Re-build it Centre. Councillor Lamont encouraged residents to make use of the service.
Milestones – Expansion of Liquor Primary Patio
Council passed a resolution in support of an application from Milestones Restaurant to increase the physical size of the liquor primary patio and increase the patio occupant load to 204 persons for liquor primary license No. 143355. Council will also pass a recommendation to the Liquor Control and Licensing Branch in support of an application from Milestones Restaurant to remove the restriction in the terms and conditions of liquor primary license No. 143355 that stipulates, “Patio capacity must be taken from inside capacity when patio in use.”
For these liquor primary license changes the provincial Liquor Control and Licensing Branch (LCLB) requires local government comment in the form of a resolution from Council regarding the suitability of the license change and specifically addressing considerations relating to the potential for noise, the impact on the community and the views of residents.
Development Permit 1219 -1593 Tynebridge Lane
Land in a development permit area requires a development permit prior to: subdividing the land; starting construction of, adding to, or altering of any building or other structure, or altering the land.
The applicant applied for a development permit at 1593 Tynebridge Lane to allow for the construction of a detached dwelling. A development permit is a permit approved by Council that sets forth conditions under which development may take place. Once approved, it becomes binding on the existing and future owners of the property. A Building Permit must be obtained prior to any construction.
There is a tree preservation covenant registered on the title for this property. The proposed development will be constructed within the existing space to respect this tree preservation covenant. This covenant outlines a 15-metre setback from Spring Creek and a 1.5-metre flood construction level above any watercourse, marsh, swamp or pond. This setback zone is intended to remain free of development.
Council authorized staff to issue a Development Permit for 1593 Tynebridge Lane subject to fulfillment of the following conditions:
1. Erection of a fence around the perimeter of the “Tree Preservation Area” and the “Streamside Protection Area” to the satisfaction of the General Manger of Community Life or his designate.
2. Notification from the Province of British Columbia that a Riparian Area Assessment for the subject property has been submitted to the province and the municipality by a “Qualified Environmental Professional”.
3. Payment of any outstanding development permit processing fees.
Council authorized the Mayor and the Corporate Officer to execute the required documents in conjunction with this permit.
Whistler Olympic Plaza ice surface approved for winter
Time to get those skates sharpened! After decades of discussing the possibility of ice skating in Whistler Village, Council endorsed the development of a 3,000-square-foot temporary ice skating facility for the 2011/12 winter season in Whistler Olympic Plaza.A recreational ice surface has been part plans for Village North since Eldon Beck’s initial development concept in the1980s and has been considered on numerous occasions since that time.
The RMOW issued a request for proposals last month for a temporary recreational ice amenity to run for three months at the Plaza and having confirmed a successful bidder, will test the feasibility and operational costs of a seasonal ice surface.
A presentation to council provided the rational, cost and operational considerations pertaining to the installation of the facility.
This amenity will provide the opportunity for resort visitors to participate in one of Canada’s favourite recreational past times in the heart of the Village. Based on visitor feedback received by Tourism Whistler, guests continue to express an interest in skating and value-added propositions to round out their outdoor experience, especially in the late afternoon and evening once the mountains close. Further, there is a strong opportunity to build on the energy and success of the summer season at the Plaza into the winter season.
The ice will be in place from December 19, 2011 through April 2012.
Council awarded the tender for the supply and installation of a temporary ice rink to Cimco Refrigeration in the amount of $329,300 (excluding taxes).
Initially, rather than expending significant funds toward the purchase of permanent capital infrastructure, staff suggested that the RMOW rent the refrigeration plant and associated piping to test and evaluate technical performance, facility utilization, user satisfaction, level of maintenance and operating cost associated with a temporary skating rink. Should this year’s test prove successful, the community can consider permanent skating infrastructure in the future.
Existing performance infrastructure in the pavilion such as lighting, sound systems and fire place would be used to enrich the experience. Existing washroom facilities would be used and the concession stand to facilitate skate rental and seasonal refreshments and snack sales. As a comparison, the total ice surface proposed is approximately 50 per cent of the size of the Meadow Park ice sheet.
It is estimated that the total projected cost of this project will be $487,700. Net operating costs and estimated to be $122,900, with a projected revenue of $29,200.
Council directed staff to amend the Five-Year Financial Plan 2011-2015 Bylaw to provide funding the Whistler Olympic Plaza Ice Amenity in the amount of $487,700, funded by the Resort Municipality Initiative (RMI) grant, subject to Provincial approval of RMI program amendments.
Official Community Plan First Reading
Over the past 19 months, the Whistler community has worked together to update our Official Community Plan (OCP). A Draft OCP update is now available for review. See the draft and supporting maps at the OCP website, www.whistler2010.com
Following Council’s direction to collaborate with Whistler residents and stakeholders on updating the OCP, one of the most intense and focused community engagement efforts in the history of the RMOW was undertaken. The community engagement plan was rolled out in six phases and the feedback and ideas generated from this engagement is included in this Draft OCP.
The OCP collaboration effort was designed to listen to what Whistlerites had to say about Whistler’s past, present and future. This community input has been collected, evaluated and reported on, and it provided direction for this document, which was developed in six phases from April 2010 to November 2011.
Phase 1: Issues and Opportunities (April-Sept. 2010) – Whistler property owners gathered in backyards across the valley to kick off the OCP update by brainstorming about what mattered most to them about Whistler.
Phase 2 : Community Directions (Oct. 2010-Dec. 2010) – Issues and Opportunities were gathered and aggregated into a package of Community Directions, including input gathered through a well attended North Vancouver Open House. Whistler opened the powerful 2010-11 winter season in style with a Nov. 24 Community Workshop where attendees identified what community directions should be formed into fledgling policy statements.
Phase 3: Made in Whistler Policy Development (Jan.-Feb. 2011) – Community Directions were shaped further by online submissions that culminated in pre-draft policy working groups. These consisted of eight, intensive four-hour sessions where over 250 participants determined what policy ideas were most important to them. These were dissected, discussed and deliberated, forming the basis for the OCP First Draft.
Phase 4: Defining the Whistler Experience (April-Aug. 2011) – The first of the Draft policies were released on April 7. Through the process of defining the Whistler Experience, the community identified and prioritized Whistler’s most valuable resort community assets and updated our efficiency, form and character through conversations about development permit guidelines.
Phase 5: Draft OCP Released (Sept. 30, 2011) – Referral of draft OCP to local government, First Nations, provincial government and agencies and to public.
Phase 6: Bylaw Consideration (Nov. 15, 2011) – RMOW Council receives the OCP Bylaw for first reading.
Next - Phase 7: Completion of the consultation process (Nov. 15, 2011 – early 2012) – Amendment of the OCP at second reading if necessary after consultation, in concert with the procedural requirements under section 882 of the Local Government Act.
Additionally, 35 committed Whistler citizens – ranging in age from 13 to retirement – advised the RMOW throughout the six phases of the OCP update through their crucial role on the Youth Advisory Group and Community Advisory Group. Concurrent to this robust, inclusive community engagement process, key resort stakeholders were being consulted on this OCP update as well. They are:
- Consultations with our First Nations partners, the Squamish Nation and the Lil’wat Nation are ongoing. Results of these consultations will be presented to Council at second reading;
Provincial referral process. Lead by the Ministry of Community, Sport and Cultural Development, 24 separate provincial contacts have participated in a referral process that resulted in direct provincial input into the OCP Goals, Objectives and Policies, and;
RMOW is discussing a detailed Regional Context Statement with the Squamish-Lillooet Regional District (SLRD) which will require Board approval. The result of this process will be presented at second reading.
Council gave a first reading to Official Community Plan Amendment Bylaw 1983, 2011 and directed staff to continue with the Official Community Plan consultation process. The purpose of this bylaw is to guide decisions on planning and land use management within the Resort Municipality of Whistler, respecting the purposes of local government.
BYLAWS FOR THIRD READING
Zoning Amendment Bylaw (Community and Transportation Infrastructure One)
Council rescinded the third reading of the Zoning Amendment Bylaw (Community and Transportation Infrastructure One). The purpose of Zoning Amendment Bylaw is to allow for back of house uses primarily related to the storage and maintenance of commercial motor vehicles.
Later in the meeting, council gave a third reading to the Zoning Amendment Bylaw as amended.
Senior’s Drop-in Centre
Council directed staff to investigate and report back to council, on the feasibility of repurposing the use of the Spruce Grove Field House (SGFH) to accommodate a Senior's Drop In Center - an annual fee to be determined - and still maintain the role of the SGFH for other uses open for public events as an economic driver for the RMOW.
ITEMS HAVING RECEIVED PRIOR NOTICE OF MOTION
Whistler Waldorf School Lease
Council referred the issue of the Whistler Waldorf School lease to staff to negotiate a temporary use permit with the school.
Council had received correspondence from:
- Joo Kim Tiah, President of Holborn Holdings Ltd, dated November 8, 2011 expressing concern for proposed changes to the Official Community Plan. Council directed staff to respond to the letter.
- The Honourable Mary McNeil, Minister of Children and Family Development, dated November 3, 2011, regarding celebrations, events, and information about Adoption Awareness Month in British Columbia.
- Doug Smith, Vice President of Corporate Affairs with North Shore Credit Union, dated October 6, 2011, encouraging support for Jazz on the Mountain at Whistler.
- The Honourable Terry Lake, Minister of Environment, dated October 4, 2011, regarding a Special Committee on Cosmetic Pesticides which will provide recommendations to government with respect to the development and implementation of legislation regarding the unnecessary use of pesticides. Council directed staff to forward letter to the Bear Smart society.
- Johnny Carline, Commissioner/Chief Administrative Officer for Metro Vancouver, dated October 26, 2011 advising that the Metro Vancouver Board of Directors endorsed the consolidation of the Lower Mainland Treaty Advisory Committee (LMTAC) with Metro Vancouver’s Aboriginal Relations Program effective January 1, 2012.
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