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No Asphalt Plant spokesperson steps down

Tim Koshul no longer the head of Nap, looks to others to lead



The outspoken and determined voice for the No Asphalt Plant (NAP) group is no longer publicly crusading to get Whistler's asphalt plant out of the Cheakamus neighbourhood.

Tim Koshul confirmed this week he will no longer act as spokesperson for NAP after weighing the personal and public toll the role has taken on him these two-and-a- half years.

Who will step up to lead the cause remains to be seen.

"I just started thinking 'you're banging your head against a wall trying to convince people that asphalt plants and quarries beside a beautiful legacy neighbourhood are wrong,'" said Koshul of his decision. "And there comes a point where you've got to stop banging your head."

Koshul has been at the forefront of the fight to move the plant, which is operating beside the 2010 Olympic legacy neighbourhood.

"It's been a lot of work — thousands of hours," he said of the time spent investigating how it came to be that a $161 million neighbourhood was built next to an operating asphalt plant and no one worried about the impact it could have on residents.

The hours have taken their toll.

He understands why some residents don't want to speak up publicly — Whistler is a small town after all.

But, perhaps it might serve the cause better to have more people voicing their opinions. "Maybe it will be a good collection of multiple voices versus one from here on in," he said.

Koshul was instrumental in creating public pressure around the issue in the lead up to the 2011 election, culminating in the municipal lawsuit against Whistler Aggregates.

That lawsuit was unsuccessful.

Last month council decided it would not appeal the B.C. Supreme Court decision and instead charged Eric Martin, chair of the board of the Whistler Development Corporation (WDC), which built the neighbourhood, to work with the plant's owner Frank Silveri to find a solution that will work for all parties.

Koshul said: "Everything that we stand for as a community says that this mistake has to be fixed and the mistake was leaving these two things beside each other."