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Emerald Forest lands get soil tests Muni fiddles while developer digs By Chris Woodall A backhoe started scooping trenches in the Emerald Forest lands Thursday so the developer could test for proper septic sites. The test is the latest step toward proceeding with plans to subdivide the land into six 20-acre lots. Results of the "percolation tests" will help finalize the subdivision plans and determine the actual designation of the six lots on the 140-acre property at the bottom of Lorimer Road in Whistler Cay, says property owner Glenn Houghton. Both Glenn and brother Larry are proceeding to fulfil obligations for their current subdivision application by April, 1998. The Houghtons also have an alternative plan for the site that is working its way through municipal hall. That plan would restrict development to 20 acres in total and approximately 120 acres would be dedicated to Whistler as parkland. However, the plan would require bed units for 40 single-family lots — a total of 240 bed units — which the municipality is reluctant to grant. "We feel that rezoning is the better option for the community and ourselves," says Glenn Houghton. "However, if council decides not to go that route, we will have no choice but to proceed with the subdivision. That is why we are proceeding with all aspects of the subdivision process." Percolation tests, as set by Health Canada standards, check to see if a proposed septic field will be located in the right place. "We may have to do two or three trenches to find the right area," Houghton says of the work that may take up to four days to complete. The tests will apply to a few of the housing sites proposed for the development, but Houghton hopes that some of the lots will hook into the municipal sewer.

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