Larco the real winner
While following the London Drugs saga with interest and taking into account all sides of the issue, I think that there is one component that has been very much overlooked and should be brought to light.
Larco, one of the largest landlords in Whistler, is the owner of the contentious space that is at the heart of this matter. They acquired this space, zoned recreational, in exchange for bed units. It is to be used for recreational use to benefit the community. If this space is rezoned Larco would be very happy campers.
At present they have no tenant and with the rent they have been asking not much hope of one in the near future. So they will go from no rent to a fully rented space with no further obligation to the community. Does that sound like a sweet deal? You bet it does.
Larco has gone 10 years without spending any money on the space — some people have tried but failed to make a go of it — and now they are going to be laughing all the way to the bank.
This is the only space compatible, in the village, for London Drugs. That is a fait a complie, so who wins and who loses in this deal? Not rocket science!
Why can we not come up with a plan that benefits our community? Larco should pay for the rezoning in some form or other.
How about a capital contribution equivalent to the present value of the first 10 yearÕs gross rent for the rezoned space? This money would be put towards indoor community recreational space/activities exclusively. Maybe an extension to Meadow Park — a second ice rink or more squash courts?
I would ask that the community think about this side of the deal and less about saving 5 cents off a tube of toothpaste!
Running for cover
I was disappointed to read that council voted to freeze consideration of the zoning bylaw, which would have limited commercial space in the village, Village North and the Upper Village to 5,000 square feet (except for Councillor Melamed, go Ken!).
This issue is not about retail in Whistler generally. It's not about local business viability (the Pharmasave and IGA, both in Village North, are both over 5,000 square feet, would be grandfathered under the new bylaw and are both locally owned). And it certainly does not need more study.