Whistler Blackcomb's mountain zoning needs an update to accurately reflect the scale and scope of activities and development on the mountains.
This year, municipal staff will be working on a comprehensive rezoning for the Whistler Blackcomb Commercial Recreation Area (CRA) that not only addresses all current operations and development, but also deals with those new plans proposed in the updated Whistler and Blackcomb Master Plans.
"To provide greater certainty, and flexibility for planned mountain developments, the municipality, working with Whistler Blackcomb, will undertake a comprehensive rezoning for the CRA area," said municipal communications manager Michele Comeau in an email to Pique.
In the meantime, however, council approved the first and second readings of a zoning amendment bylaw Tuesday night, which will pave the way for updates at the Rendezvous Lodge on Blackcomb Mountain.
"As this is expected to be a longer and more complex process (to update the whole zone), and to expedite the proposed renovation of the Rendezvous Lodge, this renovation is being addressed through an intermediary site specific zoning," wrote municipal planning analyst Kevin Creery in his report to council.
It is called the MC2 (Mountain Commercial Two) zone.
It outlines all the commercial activities and services currently taking place at the Rendezvous and the nearby ski school and wax and demo hut buildings.
The new zone allows for an additional 96 square metres (roughly 1,000 square feet) for the planned upgrades to the lodge and also allows another 280 square metres (3,000 square feet) for potential future additions.
If the MC2 rezoning moves ahead — there must first be a public hearing and council must adopt the bylaws, too — Whistler Blackcomb can move forward with its major reinvestment and upgrade of the lodge, first built in 1980. The renovation includes upgrades to all interior public spaces — seating, washrooms, food-service areas. There are also plans to enclose the existing exterior undercover entrance corridors to create covered seating.
The Whistler and Blackcomb Master Plans are complete and have sign-off from all agencies, with the exception of First Nations.
Development permit approved for workshop addition
On Tuesday, April 14, council also approved a development permit to allow a new two-storey workshop building at Glacier Lane, part of the Whistler Blackcomb Lift Workshop compound.
The workshop area was developed in 1981.
Whistler Blackcomb is now looking for more back-of-house space for its operations and needs council's approval.
The 174 square metres (1,800 square feet) building will create an additional bay and storage areas on the first level and a staff locker room on the mezzanine level.
Whistler Blackcomb is now waiting for the go-ahead from the provincial Ministry of Environment.
Whistler cannot give the final go ahead until it has provincial authorization based on a review of a site soil profile submission. This is required under the Environmental Management Act for the property.