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campground prop

Council has shelved, at least temporarily, any further work on new campgrounds in Whistler. The proposed Riverside and Edgewater campgrounds were presented at a public information meeting Aug. 8. Although a number of concerns and objections were raised by members of the public and, later, by Ministry of Environment staff, particularly about the Edgewater proposal, the proposals were considered by municipal staff worthy of further study. Accordingly, a report was brought to council Tuesday which recommended the proponents submit environmental impact assessments, operation management plans and formal rezoning applications. However, the recommendations caught Councillor Hugh O'Reilly by surprise. "I'm a little surprised staff would make this recommendation," O'Reilly said. "Camping is important, but we can't be everything to everybody. We need to stop the process, go back, review it and see what other options there are. "I'm really opposed to us proceeding with these two recommendations until we review further applications. The community spoke loud and clear." Councillor Dave Kirk agreed, saying some of the criteria this council and previous councils and staff have set out are no longer applicable. "I don't wish to see these proposals proceed further right now," Kirk said. Councillors Kristi Wells and Max Kirkpatrick disagreed. "The camping market is very important. To not provide that is really missing a link," Wells said. A motion to table the campground proposal applications until after the Town Hall meeting was supported by Kirk, O'Reilly and Bill Murray. Thelma Johnstone was acting mayor in Ted Nebbeling's absence. Council began pushing for new campground proposals last spring because the existing Whistler Campground is expected to be redeveloped. Council originally hoped at least one new campground would be open by next spring.

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