Opinion » Maxed Out

Maxed Out

It’s the zoning, stupids

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Council’s ill-timed by-law to limit the size of retail operations to 5,000 square feet is not an assault on the principles of free markets. Grow up. There ain’t no free markets. If there were, Larco could rent their space out to an abattoir. This is about zoning and planning, both of which have been legitimate reins on free markets since people realized living next door to abattoirs was a smelly, disgusting proposition.

Just because Whistler’s taken on too many unfortunate trappings of urban life doesn’t mean you have any rights to shop in big stores with cheaper prices. In case you skipped that day in kindergarten, you can’t have it all people. If you can use the affordability card to rationalize this assault on our little, planned mountain home you can use it to open the doors to any and all bigger and better stores where you can save a buck. There are, and should be, costs associated with living here; it’s what makes the place special.

And just because we had the bad taste to let Starbucks, Gap, Eddie Bauer, and far too many junk food chains infiltrate this town, just because we sold our future to the Olympics™, just because we’ve allowed rapacious landlords to bring home-grown commerce to its knees, doesn’t mean we have to keep repeating the mistakes of the past. Trying to correct your mistakes, or at least foregoing compounding them, is a sure sign of maturity.

Personally, I’d rather have the next story I read about Whistler begin more like the one I read recently about Stowe. It opened by saying, "Stowe, Vt., is a resort town with a soul. Nearly every business is locally owned; there is not a chain-affiliated store, restaurant or motel to be found."

So much nicer than, "Whistler, BC, is a resort town with a really big, cheap drug store."

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