Although Whistler has two significant employee housing projects on the horizon, a new proposal has been submitted to the RMOW for up to 390 apartments and 215 townhomes on the Alpha Creek lands.
Previous housing proposals on the controversial 77 acre site owned by John Zens OKA Holdings have been rejected by the municipality. And with a large proposal for a mixed housing development on the Rainbow Lands already working its way through municipal hall, as well as the future Olympic athletes village, its not clear how much appetite there is for additional housing
However, John Haibeck, who is working with OKA Holdings, said this week the Alpha Creek project may be better than the Rainbow proposal.
After nearly a year and a half of work OKA Holdings recently submitted a comprehensive development strategy that includes preserving 58 of the 77 acres, including all the wetlands, and placing them in an environmental trust. The 19 developable acres would be built in phases, starting with a central core of mixed use including resident restricted townhouses and apartments, local retail space and office space opposite the entrance to Spring Creek. A pedestrian overpass connecting the proposed development to Spring Creek is part of the proposal. Other developable sites on benches to the east, closer to Whistler Creek, would include more apartment and townhouse housing.
Four market value single family homes are also proposed. The bed units for those homes are already associated with the property.
Another small development node at Function Junction, is proposed for apartments, live/work space and possibly a sustainability centre.
The actual number of units, the unit sizes and unit mix for each phase of the proposed development would be based on an analysis of resident housing market need.
While the development proposal has been received by municipal hall its not clear how warmly it was received. Four years ago the council of the day took steps to downzone part of the Alpha Creek property to ensure development doesnt take place there. That bylaw was given third reading but has never been adopted.