By Cindy Filipenko
A zoning amendment bylaw for the Green River Estates has received first reading at the Squamish-Lillooet Regional District. The amendment, would allow for a residential subdivision of 108 strata parcels clustered on the eastern portion of 249 ha., located adjacent to Highwayy 99 north of the Resort Municipality of Whistler boundary.
The housing project, which has been in active development for more than a year, may eventually come under Whistler’s jurisdiction if the RMOW’s boundary expansion is granted.
SLRD planner Amica Antonelli introduced the draft bylaw Monday noting that after first reading the bylaw would be referred to the Lil’wat Nation, RMOW and provincial agencies for comment. Those same bodies that had commented on previous zoning applications for the property.
At Mayor Jordan Sturdy’s urging, the Village of Pemberton was added to that list of agencies. Sturdy admitted that he would be seeking a portion of the $2.49 million voluntary contribution that the developer is making to the SLRD for recreational amenities.
“As you know, Area C and the VOP have traditionally co-operated on providing recreational amenities for the residents of the Pemberton Valley,” said Sturdy.
Two examples the mayor gave were the valley-wide trail system, which he pointed out primarily runs though Area C, and the new community centre.
“This proposed bylaw runs contrary to this spirit of cooperation,” said Sturdy.
Area C Director Susie Gimse addressed Sturdy’s suggestion with caution.
“If we want to move away from the agreement we have (with the developer), we need to talk about it,” said Gimse.
“I’m not prepared to spend one dollar of that money until we have gone through a public process.”
Whistler Mayor Ken Melamed voiced the concerns about how the layout of the subdivision could potentially impact the environment.
“We have some fundamental challenges with the rezoning planning, particularly the riparian setback,” said Melamed, calling the current proposed lot plan “a major stumbling block.”
Planner Steve Olmstead assured Melamed that specifics pertaining to the subdivision would remain on the table.
Melamed said while there were still things to be discussed in regard to the content of bylaw he felt there was general agreement about the project moving forward.
“We acknowledge there are issues,” said Olmstead. “But what we want to do is begin to move this forward. We can continue working on these issues as we more forward.
“We want to get it out to the various agencies and get official comment.”