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First Nations, RMOW work on land development

BCBC site slated for rezoning in the future, requires bed units



First Nations and the Resort Municipality of Whistler are still negotiating a development deal in the valley.

Specifically, they are figuring out what First Nations can develop on the British Columbia Building Corporation site, which is the highways yard opposite Alta Vista. The site would have to be rezoned, and also needs bed units, in order to be developed.

"We’re still working on it," said Squamish Chief Gibby Jacob, who was in town Monday for a ceremony at the First Nations Cultural Centre.

The site is Crown land and First Nations have identified it as part of the 300-acre legacy lands awarded to the Squamish and Lil’wat Nations during 2010 Olympic negotiations.

In a report to council Sept. 19, municipal staff explained that representatives from the two sides are developing a Memorandum of Understanding. The MOU will outline how the First Nations and the RMOW will work together in the years to come. This is expected to be before council in October or early November.

The report states: "Staff are also meeting with (First Nations) regarding the BCBC site… related to redevelopment and the planning department will begin the rezoning process once a formal application has been received."

Jacob would not be pinned down to questions on what the development of that site would look like but he did say that was something they were working on with municipal staff.

"I think they’ve shared some great thoughts with us on development within RMOW and, like I always say, if we’re not contributing, we’re taking from the system, and we want to contribute," said Jacob. "We have enough bright, intelligent young people, people with good hearts. We’ll get there."

In an earlier interview with Pique Newsmagazine Jacob said part of the money on the development deal could go towards exhibits in the cultural centre.

In addition to the BCBC lands, the First Nations have picked another Whistler site for development, a piece of Crown land near Alpine Meadows, above the proposed Rainbow development.

The Squamish and Lil’wat are looking throughout the corridor, in their shared territory and their stand-alone territory, for places to leverage their remaining land.