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Bunbury property a step closer to conforming

Public hearing scheduled for September



Alex Bunbury is relieved to see his rezoning application move through the municipality's channels, albeit the process has been slow.

"It is straight forward," said Bunbury about the latest updates to his 23-year-old application to legitimize three houses on Whistler Mountain above Creekside. "They (the municipality) don't give us any room for negotiation, but it is a step forward."

The new deal, which council gave second reading last week, would see three parcels of land rezoned to reflect Bunbury's already built houses - located at 2501, 2505 and 2509 Gondola Way - along with the creation of two market lots and two hectares of parkland.

Bunbury would also give $400,000 to the municipality's Employee Housing Reserve Fund before developing the two market lots.

Originally, the municipality was going to require Bunbury to build four units of resident-restricted housing instead of paying the money out of his pocket. But councillors asked staff in July to come up with another plan because the property's location near Kadenwood and Bear Creek Estates doesn't lend itself well to employee housing.

Municipal planner Guy Patterson, responding to a question from Councillor Eckhard Zeidler last week, said the new deal does not mean the municipality is selling zoning.

"Don't worry, we are not selling zoning," said Patterson. "That is what our lawyers say."

Bunbury bought the 10-acre property from the province in 1972, and 14 years later he and his wife Dorothy discovered their three houses were "legally non-conforming."

This week, Bunbury restated that the two-decade-long process to legitimize his properties has been frustrating and he wants to get the process over with.

"I don't have $400,000 in my pocket," said Bunbury. "We are not planning to do this. We are just going to sell the whole thing, and the new owner will be obliged to deal with it."

Bunbury's rezoning application will go to a public hearing in September.