It's with a happy heart that I write what I hope is my last letter on the Cheakamus Crossing asphalt plant saga. However the question of whether there will be any future litigation connected with the plant is still a nominally open question.
It helps if you take out the asphalt plant context and apply some other similar local situations to the question. If you're running a nightly B&B in a local neighbourhood without proper zoning and try and justify it by saying, "I've been doing this for years, I have a lot invested in my business and someone at municipal hall told me it was okay," how far do you think that would take you?
Nor is the municipality liable for improvements made before re-zoning has been granted.
Look at the case of the recent garbage processing plant that was rejected by council, despite being encouraged by staff for several years.
There's a part of me that would love to hear what the relevant parties would have to say under oath in a courtroom about what was said and promised to whom in this whole sorry mess, but I don't think that would be in the community's long-term interest.
I also have a last piece of advice for the Whistler Development Corporation. Those Cheakamus Crossing market units are now more valuable by the factor of one less neighbourhood asphalt plant, and perhaps they should be allowed to stay on the market at their current value for a few more months to see if that will make a difference in their desirability.
A "waste" of an alternative
We are a family company and for 20 years have owned 16 acres, zoned for single resident use, at Whistler's Callaghan Valley.
In 2006 senior RMOW staff identified the need for alternative industrial sites and we started the process to rezone for such use.
Subsequently we have come upon the means and methods to develop a novel, but tested, system to manage the municipal waste and to harvest a year-round supply of high quality produce and fish in a Hydroponic/Aquaponic facility.
The novel system is not incineration and utilizes advanced emission controls that meet the highest standards.
If approved, we would be able to develop the site into an energy efficient, two-stage waste management facility which, after recycling glass and metals, currently buried in landfills, would deliver pure usable ash, along with heat and CO2 to enable food production.
The accrued benefits to the Community would be: