Do large trucks and works yards belong near Nesters?
That question got significant air time during Monday night’s council meeting, which saw councillors debating whether a new “industrial hub” should be relocated on a stretch of land approximately 2 kilometres north of the village.
Several companies say they want to locate their businesses to one of three properties clustered around the Mons-Highway 99 area: Mons Industrial Land, Mons Court and the B.C. Hydro Lands.
But Whistler’s 14-year-old community official community plan (OCP) states all industrial-use companies should be in Function Junction, south of the village. If a second industrial park is needed, reads the OCP, it should also be located south of the municipality.
“It is not a big deal with this parcel,” said Councillor Nancy
Wilhelm-Morden while discussing the Mons Court property.
“None of this is a big deal with any of these parcels. But if
you put them all together, then it is a big deal.”
Councillor Tim Wake agreed council should take a more
comprehensive look of the whole area.
He said: “We keep putting off difficult, long range planning,
and we keep making short term, ad hoc decisions that then become long term
“It is clear… that Function Junction is not suitable for heavy
industrial any more, but we haven’t taken the time to look at where heavy
industrial should go,” he said.
The three areas, located directly south of the CN Rail line and
Nicklaus North Golf Course, border on some of Whistler’s last wetlands, which
are home to fish, geese and otters.
The most prominent of these three parcels is Mons Industrial, owned by longtime local businessmen Steve Bayly and Nigel Woods. Bayly and Woods have submitted a proposal to municipal hall that would allow a number of industrial uses on the site. The list of potential uses includes relocating Whistler’s transit hub to the triangle-shaped property, as well as a fuel service station, motor vehicle maintenance and storage facility and waste and recycling depot for household garbage.
A public hearing Monday saw 17 community members walk up to the podium at MY Millennium Place, with most speaking of the merits an industrial centre close to the village and the centre of the valley would have: less carbon expended moving buses and machinery to-and-from the village area and less economic costs incurred.
“We are really in a position now where we really need to find and hopefully push forward this application,” said David Zerr, CEO of Mainroad Howe Sound Contracting Ltd., the company responsible for clearing the highway of snow between Function Junction and Pemberton during the winter months.