Opinion » Maxed Out

Maxed Out

Becoming who we are going to be



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Tipping point is a concept borrowed from the annals of epidemiology. It posits that small changes will generally have little or no effect on a system until a critical mass is reached, at which point further small change – dare we say incremental change – will ‘tip’ the system and a large effect will be achieved.

If you’ve stayed with me so far, bless you. If you’re hoping this all begins to make sense and have some meaning, well, so do I.

Mostly though, it’s a dodge-and-weave game to avoid coming right out in the first sentence and saying I think the Nita Lake Lodge proposal is a bad idea. I didn’t want to say that in the first sentence because I am in the distinct minority of people in this town who believe it is a bad idea and I know a whole lot of them are going to be pissed off at me for saying so. Been there, done that.

"How in the world can you think Nita Lake Lodge is a bad idea?" I already hear the recriminations.

It ain’t easy. This isn’t some rapacious, hare-brained, Emerald Forest kind of deal. The developer has rallied community support by hard work, earnest listening and thoughtful pot-sweetening. There’s something for everyone in the proposed amenity package. $588,000 for the Health Centre, another $500,000 for the Community Foundation, 25 acres of wetland preservation, 249 employee beds, $15,000 for the Fisheries Stewardship group to rehabilitate Jordan Creek after construction, the list is encyclopaedic.

It’s hard to be a lone voice of protest in a chorus of affirmation. And adding my voice to those who spoke against this project Monday night, we’d barely be able to scare up a barbershop quartet.

All the things being offered are desirable. They’re needed. The Health Centre wants them, AWARE wants them, the Chamber of Commerce wants them, the Whistler Housing Authority wants them, Whistler-Blackcomb wants them, worker bees tired of living like impoverished immigrants want them, I want them.

But I don’t want a four-storey, 80 unit hotel plunked down on the shores of the second smallest lake in the valley in the middle of what is predominantly a residential neighbourhood.

Neither do the people who initially envisaged how that end of Nita Lake and Lake Placid Road would be developed. Those planning documents wanted to ensure unobstructed sightlines to the lake and public space, green space. Both good ideas. Then and now.