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nesters hill

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By Amy Fendley Construction of the Nesters Hill market and employee housing project is expected to begin this summer, after council gave the project third reading Monday. However, consideration is still being given to the reconfiguration of three strata-titled market lots near the top of Nesters Hill. Originally developers Sea to Sky Holdings had proposed five strata lots at the top of the hill. Councillor Ken Melamed opposes the current configuration of the lots, saying it is contrary to council’s original position. "One of the original intentions was to remove development from Nesters Hill," says Melamed. "What we’re seeing now is a variation and these lots are contrary to our original objection. "I support employee housing and market development," he said. "The employee housing can be held on its own, like 19 Mile Creek, but it certainly doesn’t give the returns market development does. I appreciate the concessions made, but what’s going to make the best environmental protection is a park and there are still lots over top of the pond." The single family lot component of the project proposes to utilize bed units bought from the Crown and transferred from an adjacent site. Council had stated earlier that it would prefer to see the Sea to Sky Holdings site developed rather than the province’s site, which includes the top of Nesters Hill. The top of the hill is visible from many places in the Whistler Valley. Of particular concern are the market strata-titled lots at the end of the proposed subdivision. The lots overlook the Nesters wetland. Sea to Sky Holdings had offered to reduce the number of strata lots from five to four (and the total number of lots from 27 to 26), but council sought more protection for the wetland. One more lot has since been deleted, resulting in a 25-lot subdivision. The affordable resident housing units, contained within two apartment-style buildings behind Nesters Road, have also been reduced, from 58 to 53 units. The development site is situated behind the lots located on the northwest side of Nesters Road. The surrounding area consists of single family dwellings on Nesters Road, the Nesters Market area, Nesters Hill and Nesters Pond. The project also includes two parkland dedication areas, totalling 4.12 hectares. One sits between the employee housing site and Nesters Pond and would protect the wetland area. The other, a .27 hectare parcel, would permit a buffer zone behind the Haus Heidi Pension, which is also owned by Sea to Sky Holdings. Within the buffer area, a Valley Trail extension is to be constructed that will run past the proposed conservation area, through the employee site, to connect with the Nesters Square commercial area. The trail will also be extended along the south end of Nesters Road to connect with the existing Valley Trail on Lorimer Road. Sea to Sky Holdings has agreed not to illuminate the Valley Trail. The developer also offered to build a fence along the neighbours’ property lines and to provide some planting.

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