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Don't rush to rezone transit site, says committee member

Council delays third reading to consider concerns



More due diligence is needed before council rushes ahead at "warp speed" to rezone the transit facility, allowing commercial operations there, according to one local resident.

That was the lone message from Bill Murray, the only one to speak out at Tuesday's public hearing on the transit rezoning, setting up to allow third party buses to park at the facility. Of course, Murray has an insider's view of what's planned; he sits on the Transit Management Committee and is privy to information not everyone in Whistler can get — the business case for BC Transit to operate its commercial venture, for example.

Murray cautioned that the business case might not be sound in the long-term. More due diligence is needed he said, more analysis of the mid- and the long-term use of the site, a more complete assessment of all the costs and the potential impact to taxpayers if it doesn't pan out as planned.

"Does this proposal have merit...?" asked Murray. "It might."

Council held off considering third reading of the bylaws because of concerns raised by Murray, as per policy. Mayor Nancy Wilhelm-Morden could not discuss Murray's concerns afterwards as the public hearing was over.

Waldorf School eyes Spruce Grove site

After looking through the valley for a home for the Whistler Waldorf School, school representatives are considering Spruce Grove.

"(It's) the most viable," said parent and school spokesperson Vicky Bunbury in a presentation to council Tuesday.

The local Waldorf school has grown in leaps and bounds over the past decade.

School officials are proposing two buildings on site close to the Spruce Grove Field House — one a 19,000 square foot two-story building for the grade school, the other a 6,000 square foot building as an early childhood learning centre.

The land is municipal land and would need rezoning should the project move ahead.

Alta Lake septic a 'black eye for Whistler' says Mayor

Alta Lake Road residents still on septic tanks have reason to hope for change. While the municipality has applied again for gas tax funding for the more than $2 million infrastructure project to connect the last remaining houses in Whistler to the municipal sewer line, council is not stopping there.

It's taking a "multi-pronged approach."

Getting funding from higher levels of government has proven futile in the past and now council wants to consider more options to finally get the job done if its gas tax application is unsuccessful.

"This is an embarrassment and a black eye really for Whistler," said Mayor Nancy Wilhelm-Morden.

Other concerns were raised about the impact of the septic tanks/fields on Alta Lake.

Commenting on the sheer volume of snails in some parts of the lake, Councillor Roger McCarthy said: "I don't know if it's alarming or not. I'm not a biologist."

Councillor Duane Jackson raised the issue that borrowing costs are low right now and perhaps there are other options, like the option used in Emerald, where residents pay back their connections over time.

Staff member Joe Paul reminded council that current direction from previous councils was that work to connect Alta Lake Road was contingent on senior government funding.

At the request of council he will prepare an information report for it to consider.

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