Whistler has received an invitation from Walton County, Florida to enter into a sister city relationship.
Walton County is in the Florida panhandle. Its economy is based primarily on tourism and, according to a letter from county commission chair Lane Rees " like Whistler, is encouraging economic development while fostering sustainability of our community."
Walton County is home to Intrawests Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort. The area also shares another corporate tie with Whistler; ResortQuest operates the Abbott Resorts in Walton County, while Whistler Chalets and Whistler Exclusive Property Management are ResortQuest properties.
Whistlers only sister city relationship to date is with Karuizawa, Japan.
After linking with Karuizawa Whistler established a policy for future sister city relationships. The Walton County invitation was referred to staff to review against the policy.
County commission chair Rees and Sandestin general manager Mike Strange will be visiting Whistler in August.
Transit facility expansion planned
Rezoning to allow expansion of the Whistler Transit maintenance facility in Function Junction was given first and second reading by council Monday.
The phased expansion will include an addition to the existing building at 1055 Millar Creek Road as well as new buildings on the property currently occupied by Coastal Mountain Excavations.
Whistler Transit currently operates 24 buses. The expansion will provide multiple service bays for the buses, as well as office space. There is a possibility the new buildings may eventually include some employee residences.
Function office space being legalized
All second-floor office space in the south end of Function Junction will become "legal" when a zoning amendment is adopted in the next few weeks.
The amendment, which was given first and second reading Monday, will change the IS1 zone to permit many existing businesses in Function Junction, such as accounting offices, lawyers offices, property management companies, travel agents, administrative offices and community and business services. Those businesses, on Millar Creek Road and Alpha Lake Road south of the cement plant, are not permitted under the current zoning, even though the municipality has issued business licences for those businesses.