Let the market prevail
Re: Proposed Retail Business Size Zoning Amendment Bylaw No. 1712
I view the above proposal with concern as it appears to be directed at a specific retailer and or a specific landlord. I have done a great deal of the leasing and selling of retail strata lots in the village over the last 10 years and count many of the commercial retail tenants and property owners in Whistler as clients. If this type of strategy were to be implemented I believe it should have been done earlier, perhaps with our first Official Community Plan.
The proposal in my opinion is an inhibitor to the natural forces of our commercial retail market. The market is telling London Drugs that there is a need for them in Whistler just as it did for the operators of our multiplex theatre, Earls, Milestones, The Gap, Levi's and of course the original developers of Blackcomb. If it turns out that there is not, they will soon be gone. They are already successfully providing a needed service doing business in Whistler with their IGA store which did not harm our existing grocery stores at the time. In fact the IGA likely expanded the market allowing two of the larger stores to successfully expand their operations, one so much so, that it was purchased and replicated by a major grocery store chain.
A tastefully executed London Drugs with most of it below grade, matching the theme of the village will expand the retail mix, bring people into the area who would not normally be there and will enhance the business of other retailers and food and beverage outlets. Size should not be one of the criteria for prohibiting a business. If we had done this with restaurants over the last seven or eight years where in some cases sizes have doubled to between seven to eight thousand square feet we would be without most of our value-providing outlets who provide services at the same price as they do in Vancouver.
I urge you to reconsider such a policy and let the market prevail.
As the Callaghan unfolds
Watching events unfold in the Callaghan Valley is somewhat akin to reading a coroners report. We know what the outcome is but why?
Mr. Belangers observations and the question of whether the direct award of a $15 million construction bid to First Nations will actually achieve the objective of increasing that communitys capacity to participate in the corridors future economy is a fair one. Awarding $15 million worth of work without benefit of tender is a questionable practice at best. We only have to watch the Gomery inquiry to see what happens when government decides to throw money at a problem without adequate checks and balances.