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Community church rezoning goes through


Rezoning for the Whistler Community Church’s planned permanent facility in White Gold received third reading Monday, despite concerns about the building’s impact on the neighbourhood.

Ken Melamed was the only councillor to vote against the rezoning bylaws, and did so reluctantly.

"It’s not a personal or vindictive decision, it’s in response to concerns of the neighbours. This is in an inappropriate location," Melamed said.

He pointed to the massing of the 9,000 square foot building on Fitzsimmons Road North, a residential neighbourhood. He also noted concerns about parking on the street, although there will be parking for some vehicles on the church lot.

Melamed, echoing concerns raised at a public hearing on the rezoning, suggested holding off on third reading until a comprehensive plan for the whole area is prepared.

"I don’t think necessarily a church is a bad use of the site, but I think we need a whole plan for the area," Melamed said.

An application to build resident-restricted townhomes on adjacent property is currently working its way through the municipal planning department.

Mike Purcell, general manager of planning and development services, told council planning staff have reviewed various configurations of the church and housing and feel the site is appropriate for both.

Councillor Dave Kirk had some issues with details of the church design, but said he would raise them at the development permit stage.

"This kind of institution is important," Kirk said. "I expect there will be occasional parking issues, but I expect they will be more the exception than the rule."