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bc rail lands

BC Rail says it has a tentative agreement with a developer interested in buying its 530-plus acre holding on the west side of Alta Lake and subdivision of the property could take place within a month. The Crown corporation’s subdivision application was submitted nearly two years ago, just before the municipality increased the minimum size of subdivided parcels from 20 acres to 100 acres. That subdivision — which doesn’t require council approval — will be completed by March 9 if Whistler council doesn’t show any willingness to proceed with either of two rezoning applications BC Rail submitted in the fall of 1997, said Jim Cox, president of BCR Properties. Just before Whistler council increased the minimum size of subdivided parcels from 20 to 100 acres nearly two years ago, three holders of large chunks of property submitted subdivision applications: BCR Properties, the owners of the Decigon lands and Prospero Holdings, which owns property immediately south of Alpine Meadows. The three property owners’ subdivision applications were "grandfathered" for one year. Last spring, after negotiations had failed to produce any agreements, another year’s extension was granted. For BCR Properties and Prospero, that extension expires next month. However, council recently granted the Decigon people another year’s extension because they are close to a three-way deal which would see Intrawest purchase the Decigon property, then turn it over to the municipality for preservation while transferring the development rights to another Intrawest property. If BCR Properties’ subdivision application goes ahead it would see the entire property subdivided into 29 lots, 24 lots of about 20 acres each and five smaller lots in Chaplinville which have previous zoning. The 24 estate lots would maintain the land’s current RR1 zoning, which means 24 single family houses could be built. However, the property is not serviced by sewer or water, and to do so would cost a developer millions of dollars. Cox said BCR Properties has a tentative agreement with a developer who would put in services to the west side of the valley. But the agreement is subject to council’s decision on BCR Properties’ rezoning applications. The rezoning applications propose to create 29 single family lots on suitable portions of the land and turn over the remainder of the land to the municipality. The rezoning applications would involve "creating" bed units to give to BCR Properties. Council voted 4-2 to consider the concept in November 1997, but detailed rezoning applications have not come back to council and subdivision appears to be the most likely scenario. In addition to the Hydro lines passing through the BC Rail property a right of way for the proposed highway bypass crosses the land.

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