Plans for an underground tunnel, linking two upscale lakefront homes, has been given the nod of approval from council.
The owners of the side-by-side Lakecrest properties, overlooking Alta Lake, want to connect their properties with an indoor passage below ground.
"The parcels were developed together to function as one estate with the main dwelling situated on 3159 Lakecrest Lane and a secondary/guest house on 3163 Lakecrest Lane," said municipal planning technician Roman Licko in his report. "The two buildings share a design motif and the landscaping ties the parcels together such that they are perceived as a single large 'estate' parcel."
Council approved side setback variances on each lot from three metres to zero.
Licko explained: "The corridor is limited to an underground passageway; no space is proposed to be included for livable area for other purposes. Staff noted that the corridor is not constructed, and the applicants are following the proper channels to receive their approvals prior to any construction."
This is the second underground tunnel council has seen in the last 12 months. The first, however, on Treetop Lane, was built without approval and then came to council after the fact. It was approved, along with 3,500 square feet of space that was never technically on the building books.
Mayor Nancy Wilhelm-Morden asked Licko if the owners would merge the property titles into one. He said they would remain individual properties.
"At the time I said we'll never see another situation like this again," said the mayor. "Who knew?"
The difference, as highlighted by Councillor John Grills, is that this owner is seeking approval before development.
Public hearing to be called for Base II redevelopment
The municipality is creating a new zone called Mountain Commercial One to make way for the redevelopment of Whistler Blackcomb's administrative offices at Base II.
Council gave approval to first and second readings of the zoning, that will more than double the size of the old buildings, ravaged by fire in September. A public hearing will now be scheduled in the coming weeks.
The area on Glacier Drive will allow more than 36,000 square feet (3,400 square metres) of gross floor area in the new zone.
This will allow Whistler Blackcomb to keep the existing finance building and build two three-storey buildings of roughly 15,000 square feet (1,395 square metres) each.
In Phase 1 the first new building will provide 8,600 square feet (803 square metres) of office and workshop space and roughly 6,300 square feet (592 square metres) for other related administrative uses Whistler Blackcomb is considering on the site.
If all goes to plan, Whistler Blackcomb's administrative staff in the call centre and in pass administration could move by May.
Steep lot in Alpine gets rezone nod
Council has given first and second readings to a rezoning application on Mountainview Drive in Alpine, setting the ball rolling for the development of three single-family homes in the neighbourhood.
The plans are not without controversy.
The rezoning is for one of four steep panhandle lots on Mountainview Drive governed by the Alpine Meadows Land Use Contract (LUC) created in 1973 when those large lots were created. But they have been very difficult to develop due to narrow access to the street and steep terrain.
The plans call for one lot to be rezoned RS1 to allow a larger home — 3,500 square feet plus 900 square feet auxiliary suite compared to 2,500 square feet allowed under the LUC. With this rezoning, the owners will move ahead with a three-home comprehensive development in the area — incorporating the steep lot with side-by-side lots at street level.
Concerns, however, remain with at least one of the owners of the three remaining lots, worried about access to their site.
As part of the application, staff highlight that consideration has been given to enabling improved access to the adjoining lots.
A public hearing will be called in the coming weeks.