There are no plans to redevelop another gas station in Creekside, leaving Whistler with one gas station on the south side of the village.
Instead, council has approved variances in the zoning at the former Petro Canada site, on the northeast corner of London Lane, to allow a 340 square metre (3,700 square feet) single storey commercial building.
"We have worked with them... to think about locating it in an area that may not comply with all the zoning setbacks to achieve a better project," said municipal planner Robert Brennan in his report to council.
Suncor Energy, which owns Petro-Canada, confirmed this week that it no longer owns that Creekside site, which has been empty for more than a decade after an underground gas leak from the storage tanks contaminated the ground around the station and beyond.
The current owner is listed as London Lane Holdings Inc.
While no tenants have been confirmed for the new building, the commercial zoning (CS1 Zone Commercial Service Station One) permits automobile repair and servicing uses, a service station, restaurant and retail uses and one auxiliary residential unit.
"The applicant did not include tenants as part of the development permit application, but is aware of the permitted uses in the zone," states the report to council.
The redevelopment project bodes well for Sam Brovender's plans at the Rainbow subdivision, north of the village, which includes a Chevron station on the highway.
"We (were) not too worried about it relative to the north end of town," said Brovender, of the potential second gas station. "But it can't hurt."
Plans are in the works to begin construction of Rainbow's Chevron station in the spring.
The plans at Creekside include a covered walkway that connects the storefronts to the Valley Trail and an outdoor patio seating area on the south side of the building with a gas fire pit.
Council was pleased to see the plans Tuesday, Feb. 18, only expressing some concerns with the tightness of the parking lot.
"I really commend staff for working with the applicant," said Councillor Duane Jackson, of the plans to maximize what was described as a challenging site.
Work is still underway on remediation of the site, which has been ongoing since 2001.
While the station site is clear, it may take another two to four years for Petro-Canada to complete the remediation process for soils under the highway.