The RMOW is planning to construct a new non-motorized public recreational trail from Emerald Drive to the lands west of the neighbourhood including the No Flow Zone and One Duck Lake, and implement improvements to nearby on-street parking signs.
The proposed trail and on-street parking signs makeover work is in the planning stages. Site work is anticipated to be complete prior to the end of June 2021. Please note that the timeline may be influenced by weather and COVID-19.
In January of 2020 the municipality purchased the property located at 9561 Emerald Estates with the intent to construct a recreational trail across the property. Once complete the trail will provide secure long term recreational access to the lands west of the Emerald Estates neighbourhood following closure of the historical access which was in a trespass situation across privately owned lands.
The proposed trail is envisioned to be a 1.0m wide gravel surface recreational trail for pedestrian and non-motorized bicycle use. At Emerald Drive the trail will be identified by a 4x4” vertical post with a trail name, permitted and non-permitted uses, no smoking, and trail ownership badges. This is the typical approach used across the municipality. A new fence, tree planting and additional signage will be included and are intended to help maintain resident privacy. No other amenities are to be provided.
A secondary benefit of the property acquisition is the provision of a single family employee housing unit, now administered by the Whistler Housing Authority.
On-Street Parking Signs
Whistler’s odd/even/winter/summer/time of day parking signs and Bylaw are atypical to visitors and can be difficult to fully interpret. The municipality will conduct a “makeover” of the existing on-street parking signs in order to provide improved clarity about where vehicles can and cannot park. The sign makeover will involve the replacement and repositioning of a number of existing signs as well as new signs with improved legibility and clearer messaging. Additional signs will be installed to remind users to respect the neighbourhood.
An on-street parking monitoring plan was initiated last summer and will be repeated in the summer of 2021, possibly longer. Signs will be adjusted as necessary.
The municipal Bylaw Services department generally works on a complaint based system. If residents observe on-street parking infractions they should contact Bylaw Services at 604-935-8280, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Bylaw Services tracks call numbers and will focus patrols on areas with repeat infractions.
Following announcement of the purchase and intent, several Emerald Estates residents raised a wide range of questions and concerns to municipal council. In August 2020 a letter was provided to residents who had communicated concerns to the RMOW, and an online meeting was held in September 2020. For more information on these two engagement pieces please as well as the proposed trail development plan please see links below.
Recreational Trails Strategy
The municipality is initiating a Recreational Trails Strategy for the broader resort community. This initiative is currently in the project planning phase and an initial community survey will be released in February 2021 to help inform project planning and community engagement moving forward. The Strategy is anticipated to be complete in the fall of 2022.
The Recreation Trails Strategy is intended to provide high-level direction related to trail and trail-related amenity development, improvement, access, funding and management for the broader resort community. As a higher-level strategy, the Recreation Trails Strategy will not specify the number, location or types of trails, which will be the focus for a future and more detailed Trails Master Plan.
Construction of the Emerald Trail and related on-street parking sign improvements is being advanced ahead of the Recreational Trail Strategy as provision of safe and managed access is required for the coming trail season.
For more information on the Recreational Trails Strategy project please visit whistler.ca/TrailStrategy.
The Emerald Trail and related on street parking sign improvements is 100 per cent funded from the Province of British Columbia through its Municipal and Regional District Tax (MRDT) program.