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employee housing

Last week’s lottery for the right to buy one of the 85 units in the Millar’s Pond affordable housing project drew 714 applications. Karen MacDonald’s was the first name drawn and as such she will get first choice of the units. All 714 names were drawn. The list is posted at municipal hall. The Millar’s Pond project will be built by Columbus Properties Development Group this spring and the units should be ready for occupancy by next winter. Council and the Whistler Valley Housing Society hope to have several other employee housing projects under construction this summer. Whistler Mountain intends to build staff accommodation near Twin Lakes. Blackcomb has plans for additional staff housing. A project is proposed for one of the parcels in the Adventures West/Alta Lake Resort area. A judge has still not ruled on Greensides Properties’ deal to purchase the Whistler Campground lands from Ruth Buzzard. Greensides has plans to develop a mix of housing, including some single family affordable housing, on the property. o o o Two Village North developers have proposed to build employee accommodation in the top levels of the buildings but while the municipality is in agreement in principle, details have still to be worked out. The Mark James Brew Pub has proposed one large four-bedroom employee housing unit — which would count as housing for eight employees — in the top floor of its building. The Whistler Valley Housing Society has suggested it would work better with two smaller units but the developer says that will double the cost of kitchen and living room space. Council was originally concerned that the single large unit could be used by the owners and their guests, rather than employees. The housing society has recommended against allowing stratification of the building, so that the employee housing stays with the business. Meanwhile, developers of the Apec hotel and retail complex on Lot 19 have proposed including all required employee housing within the structure and on a non-profit basis. While the project has yet to come before council planning staff have been generally supportive of the concept. Developers are required to provide housing for all employees generated by their development or provide cash in lieu. To date only a handful of developers have proposed to provide or build housing for their staff. The cash in lieu contributions now total nearly $4

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