A pair of housing developments came closer to breaking ground at the Oct. 17 council meeting.
Council voted to issue a development variance permit for a new 22-unit, resident restricted Whistler Housing Authority (WHA) build at 1020 Legacy Way in Cheakamus Crossing, as well as a development permit for a 20-unit, WHA seniors' rental building at 8350 Bear Paw Trail in Rainbow.
Both permits came with some minor variances attached — which in both cases drew some objections from nearby residents — but were still passed unanimously by council.
In the case of the seniors building, residents of the adjacent Solana building were concerned about the potential impact the new build would have on their views.
Mayor Nancy Wilhelm-Morden said she didn't think the variances were extensive.
"I think the design has respected the viewscapes and other concerns by the Solana residents, and it was a challenging site, so I think this has met the requirements and I'm very pleased to see it moving forward," she said.
The fact that it's designated as rental for seniors (55 and over in Whistler) makes the project all the more attractive, the mayor added.
"There is that group of people who have been here for a long time who are faced with perhaps having to leave Whistler because there just wasn't an affordable product available for them," she said.
"This just really fits the bill, so I'm pleased."
The build on Legacy Way is exciting for the fact that it's being designed to Passive House standards, said Councillor John Grills.
"Once again, it's great to see a housing project, but it's exciting for WHA as it's their first passive, multi-unit building," Grills said.
"It's going to be an increased cost to this build, but WHA will recover those increased costs with the reduced utilities in the building, so it's a really good test and possibly if this works well we can do another one."
Both buildings are expected to be ready by winter 2018.
"I think a good job has been done, again, with the design of this, respecting the neighbours," Wilhelm-Morden said of the Legacy Way project, adding that she's hopeful from looking at the landscape plans that there will be screening to prevent nearby neighbours from having to look straight at the back of the building.
"Fitting these projects in to an already-built neighbourhood is always a challenge and I think a good job has been done."
Meanwhile, on Oct. 10 the provincial government announced a new online form for landlords and tenants to file for dispute resolution.
The redesigned form will guide applicants through the process to ensure they're providing the right information, cutting down on unnecessary adjournments or dismissals.
The new application works on all devices, and features a user-friendly design with step-by-step instructions.
Low-income tenants with proof of income can apply for a fee waiver when they apply.
The new application can be found at www.gov.bc.ca/landlordtenant/online.