Opinion » Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor for the week of January 11

2 comments

Private employee housing project problematic

(Editor's note — this letter was addressed to mayor and council.)

I participated in the surveys and open house opportunities surrounding the Mayor's Task Force on Residential Housing and although one could dispute that some of the numbers provided at the last open house didn't make sense, I like most stakeholders was generally satisfied with the final report. The community clearly indicated that housing was a priority. I also agree that every opportunity to bring private developers into the housing solution is a positive step.

However, in my view the rezoning application (on Garibaldi Drive in Nordic) will create more problems than it solves. My concerns and questions surrounding them are outlined below:

Negative neighbourhood impact:

• This is an extremely high-density project in a low-density neighbourhood.

• What consideration was given to the impact on Nordic residents? Specifically, highway access — this is one of only two neighbourhoods in Whistler without a controlled highway access; traffic impact volumes within the subdivision; parking; infrastructure (water, sewer, etc.); environmental — the developer clear-cut this parcel several years ago.

Size of project:

• Rezoning from six bed units (BU) to 220 plus BUs is clearly excessive.

• How is this allowed to proceed when single-family and duplex units surround this site?

• Do you honestly believe that the density and scale of this project is appropriate for this site and the adjacent neighbourhood?

Lack of consultation:

• Why was no neighbourhood consultation process surrounding this application initiated?

• Is it the intent of the Resort Municipality of Whistler (RMOW) to continue this lack of consultation on other similar rezoning applications?

Stop-work order:

• Why the stop-work order?

It is my view that this rezoning application is simply a developer seeking a whole lot of density in the name of employee housing and should be turned down, or at the very least revised to have a much-reduced impact on the residents of Nordic.

The apparent increasing lack of transparency within the RMOW is also troubling. This may be presumptuous of me, however, it is my opinion and that of a growing number of people in the community that your agenda is often being set by staff (one in particular) and that the voice of council is not always heard or respected with the expectation of staff being that you rubber-stamp agenda items.

If there is even a thread of truth in the above comment this rezoning application may provide the perfect opportunity to recalibrate, restructure and strengthen the relationship with staff.

Gord Annand

Whistler

Sad to miss race

My husband and I experienced an unfortunate incident at the Creekside Gondola on Jan. 7.

We arrived at the gondola as foot passengers as we intended to go to Raven's Nest to observe our granddaughter's ski race on Goats Gully.

We were refused (entry onto) the gondola without boots and skis even though there is no other way of getting to Raven's Nest (than by using the gondola).

Consequently, we missed our granddaughter's race much to her and our disappointment.

We are both passholders and have been for many years. Can anybody inform me as to the reason for this unreasonable rule?

After having paid mega dollars to the mountain over many years we now find out that we have no access to part of the mountain (Raven's Nest) ever without our skis.

Can anybody enlighten me as to whom this rule benefits or if the rule is only made to prevent foot passengers from enjoying our whole mountain even as a passholder?

Inge-Lise Dannhauer

Vancouver

(Editor's note: Non snow-sport visitors are allowed on Whistler and Blackcomb mountains in designated sightseeing zones.)

Not the right people

After a few days last week at our condo in Whistler, I was outraged to read both the mayor's and Tourism Whistler's characterization of the "right" customers who appreciate "mountain culture."

After decades of being loyal Whistler-Blackcomb skiers, from the days of day tripping before there were accommodations, through the years of bringing a family of five or ski weekends (at great expense), to buying a condo a decade ago, we are among the B.C. residents who have heavily invested in the growth of Whistler Blackcomb (WB).

Now, we find ourselves priced out of WB for skiing and seemingly not the "right kind of customer."

The takeover by Vail Resorts has deemed the local, casual skier as the wrong kind of customer, as most incentives and promotions for non-tourists have been eliminated, including the three-day Edge Card.

If "appreciating mountain culture" is only expressed by tourists who fly in for expensive stay and ski packages, then Tourism Whistler and the mayor might as well have an "elites only" welcome sign.

For $165 for a day's lift ticket at WB, I will from now on express my appreciation for mountain culture for two to three days at one of the four excellent ski resorts in our Okanagan region.  

Michael WooldridgeVancouver & Penticton

Travesty in Nordic

The application for re-zoning the lot at 2077 Garibaldi Way, Nordic, from its current single-family zoning to zoning for a 74-apartment, three-building complex, is simply outrageous.The surrounding neighbourhood is all single-family, duplex or triplex zoned. The lot is on a quiet cul-de-sac. The re-zoning from six to 222 bed units is just too big a leap!Three apartment buildings jammed on to this lot does not fit the quiet residential neighbourhood of Nordic.

This proposed development would have a huge negative impact on the character of our neighbourhood — huge increases in vehicular traffic, foot traffic late at night, and noise levels generally.I am deeply distraught after having watched the council meeting where the application was presented (on Dec. 19). It appears that the municipal planning department wants to push this re-zoning through as quickly as it can, and I feel that we Nordic residents are being railroaded.I appreciate the housing crunch — but the proposed development's density does not fit in with the surrounding neighbourhood.

This application for re-zoning is truly an insult.

Kathleen Laczina

Nordic resident since 1989

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