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Official Community Plan ready for council review in July, final passage by December

OCP nearing completion after 20-month community engagement



Whistler's official community plan is nearing completion, with municipal staff telling councillors that they hoped it would finally be put to bed by the end of the year.

Mike Kirkegaard, the Resort Municipality of Whistler's manager of planning, made his report to council on the document at the regular council meeting of June 19.

He laid out the effort needed to complete the Official Community Plan (OCP) and upcoming timelines.

The completion of the OCP is considered a "key priority." Kirkegaard noted that Whistler's OCP had the "dubious distinction" of being the oldest in British Columbia, dating from 1993. Because of the resort's legal relationship through the Resort Municipality of Whistler Act with the provincial government, it will also require the approval of the minister for community, sport and cultural development.

A draft of the OCP, the culmination of a 20-month community engagement, was first presented to council last November. Input from provincial agencies and First Nations have since been received and are currently being reviewed and addressed, Kirkegaard added.

Other work that remains to complete the OCP is consultation, additional changes added to the OCP document and then the statutory approval process.

"We believe at this time that the (six-stage) community consultation process is complete," Kirkegaard told council.

Once these issues are addressed, the draft will be presented in a workshop to council on July 17, giving the council the chance to request any final revisions, and then to a final public consultation, with an open house planned for August 8. Next up is first and second reading by council on August 21, then a public hearing on September 4, third reading on September 18 and finally the referral to the minister before fourth reading.

Kirkegaard said he hoped the OCP process would finally be concluded by December.

Councillor Jack Crompton asked if upcoming referrals to outside bodies including the Squamish Lillooet Regional District and the regional school district would slow down the process. Kirkegaard said consultation had been ongoing and this was not expected.

Council passed the motion to direct staff to continue on the path they were currently taking.

RMOW enters lease agreement with École La Passerelle

Council has agreed to sign a lease agreement between the Resort Municipality of Whistler (RMOW) and École La Passerelle for the use of upstairs community and office space at Spring Creek Community School, an agreement that could be worth $57,564 in annual leasing.

Because of increases to Spring Creek's student population, the French language school will be required to vacate two of its current classrooms in the main Spring Creek building by September 2012, Roger Weetman, the RMOW's manager of recreation services, told council.

The lease for the 4,797-square-foot space would run from 2012 to 2015, with the charge being $12 per square foot.

Along with the lease revenue, the contract with École La Passerelle would also bring operational savings of $35,000.

No community consultation had occurred with parents of students of Spring Creek Community School as École La Passerelle had already operated out of Spring Creek Community School, resulting in a minor change for the parents and children. School District 48 was consulted throughout the process. The Whistler Girl Guides will be forced to vacate usage of one of the rooms, but alternative space has been found at Myrtle Philip Community School.