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Councillor asks for B&B rule changes By Andy Stonehouse At least one Whistler councillor is suggesting the municipality take a look at lightening its bed and breakfast business rules, as council went about giving the preliminary nod to two new operations in Alpine Meadows. Council gave first and second readings approving rezoning requests to allow bed and breakfasts at both 8314 Rainbow Drive and 8084 Parkwood Drive, following requests from property owners. Councillor Ken Melamed said he supports both projects, but said he disagrees with municipal rules prohibiting new bed and breakfast operations from opening up within 150 metres of existing B&B businesses. "I'm a little uncomfortable looking at this with bylaws from 1996, if we haven't decided if we're going to follow them," he said. "The distance number is arbitrary, and we've been so all over the map on this thing... it's my preference to abandon the 150 metre rule." Melamed said he believes relaxing the distance rules might also change the opinions generated by neighbours polled as part of the rezoning application process. "Some people's ideas might change, and neighbours might speak differently if they didn't meet our guidelines," he said. "They're only guidelines, and they're not set in stone." Councillor Dave Kirk said he feels that the present lodging densities in Alpine are already very minimal and said he sees no particular problem with them. During Monday evening's meeting, council discussed a request to establish a B&B operation at 8314 Rainbow Drive, one of a number of new homes built along the street which backs onto Meadow Park. In reviewing the Rainbow request, municipal staff and members of the advisory planning commission say they supported the plan and the owners' intention to build a new parking turnaround on the property. Municipal planner Kim Needham said the turnaround was proposed so that B&B customers would not be required to back out onto Rainbow Drive when they left the property. Kirk said the turnaround sounds like an unnecessary addition. "Very few of us have turnarounds at our own homes," he said. "I think the protection of green space is more important." Councillor Nancy Wilhelm-Morden said it may be appropriate to designate this and other new bed and breakfast properties as resort land, in an effort to ensure the owners will become active Whistler Resort Association members. Wilhelm-Morden said a similar move has been made with the last two private lodging requests handled by council, including a property in Tapley's Farm and Mayor Hugh O'Reilly's home at the Nicklaus North golf course.

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