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housing proposals

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Twelve affordable housing proposals were received by last Friday’s deadline, under the municipality’s call for affordable housing projects. The projects range in size from three bed units to more than 1,000 bed units. Municipal staff had not had time to review the proposals by early this week, so details on most of the proposals were sketchy. In addition to the Cheakamus North proposal by Glacier Developments and the 19 Mile Creek proposal by Columbus Properties proposals were received from .... While it will likely be some months before the proposals are all evaluated and some are given the green light to go ahead, the affordable housing call may have been the last opportunity for developers and owners of large tracts of unzoned land to apply for development rights. Not only are virtually all of the 52,500 bed units permitted under the Official Community Plan allocated (although not necessarily built), but there will be a maximum of 1,700 additional bed units allocated for affordable housing and some of those may already be used. The figure of 1,700 affordable or employee housing bed units was announced when the municipality brought out its affordable housing policy earlier this year. The 1,700 bed unit figure was determined using the same formula that created the employee housing fund. At buildout, assuming all new developers pay into the employee housing fund, the fund would have accumulated about $10 million. That translates to 1,700 bed units. However, some developers, such as CRC Developments/Burrard International at Nicklaus North and High Mountain Brewing, plan to build accommodation for their staff. Those bed units that they build for their staff will be deducted from the 1,700 total. As well, the Greenside Properties proposal for the Whistler Kampground lands which received third reading Monday draws 128 bed units out of the 1,700 total. What that means is that the 12 affordable housing proposals now being evaluated are competing for what may be left of the 1,700 affordable or employee bed units. As well, council earlier decided that it will allow no more than 700 bed units to be built in a single year. The 12 affordable housing proposals received won’t be on display at Sunday’s Town Hall meeting, as the meeting is intended to be an opportunity for the community to see the results of this year’s monitoring program and then to make its concerns known, rather than for developers to display their proposals. An open house forum, where the affordable housing proposals will be displayed and presented, will be scheduled in the next few weeks.

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