Resort Municipality of Whistler (RMOW) Council endorsed a budget amendment for a land purchase at their regular meeting Tuesday that will allow for future public recreational access to surrounding land in Emerald Estates.
Through an amendment to the Five Year Financial Plan, Council approved the budget for the purchase of a residential property in Emerald Estates as well as associated building and lot upgrades for $1.7 million. The strategic purchase of this land in conjunction with another parcel will re-establish recreational access to the Emerald zone of off-road mountain biking and hiking trails as well as One Duck Lake. The purchase will be funded from the RMOW’s General Capital Expenditures and General Capital Reserve funds.
Once the purchase has closed, the RMOW will work to establish a new route to connect to the trails on Crown land. The land, located at 9561 Emerald Drive, has a small house and the RMOW will work toward making it available for community employee housing.
The RMOW has wanted to secure recreation access to Crown lands beyond the Emerald Estates neighbourhood for some time and this purchase opportunity arose as a suitable option for this purpose.
The land parcel is adjacent to lands held by Lil’wat Nation and Squamish Nation. In 2017, RMOW signed a memorandum of understanding with Lil’wat and Squamish that identified a shared interest of an exchange of these Emerald lands, owned by the two nations, for RMOW lands in Kadenwood. The parties have been working hard to achieve this outcome, which will be confirmed with the adoption of the official community plan.
“This parcel is an important, ideally located property that—along with the Emerald lands--will establish public access to recreational trails in Emerald Estates into the future,” stated Mayor Jack Crompton. “It is exciting to be moving forward with this plan, but I do encourage everyone to remember that it will be some time before the new access and trails are open and accessible to the public.”
The property remains private until further notice and public access to recreational trails will not be available until the land exchange takes place and other work is done to establish access plans.
More details will be available later this year.