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Permit approved for Prism Lands

Council briefs: What's in a name?; Solid Waste enforcement in effect

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Work on the Prism Lands at 1501 Alta Lake Road is set to get underway with the issuance of a Development Permit for the lands on Sept. 14.

The permit authorizes the subdivision of the 44-hectare lands, as well as alteration of the land and the construction of buildings.

The big gain for the Resort Municipality of Whistler (RMOW) is the proponent's plan to transfer 40 hectares of the land to the municipality, allowing them to subdivide the remaining land to create five residential estate lots.

A large area of the parcel isn't suitable for development, but about 0.4 ha. of the land will be combined to an existing, adjacent 0.8-ha. parcel already owned by the RMOW, and designated for employee housing.

"This is, again, fantastic," said Mayor Nancy Wilhelm-Morden, noting that the deal achieves resolutions for a number of issues.

"It resolves some outstanding litigation, it transfers (40 hectares) of park land to the municipality, it takes a chunk off to join to our already existing adjacent employee housing site, it preserves some wetlands, it's just a really, really good result—very happy to see this."

Added Councillor John Grills: "It's also (40 hectares) that is now under our control for additional wildfire fuel reduction at a critical place in the valley."

WHAT'S IN A NAME?

For the second time this term, a letter writer to council is urging the RMOW to change the name of Squaw Valley Crescent in Creekside.

The name is out of step with Canada's goals of reconciliation, the letter writer posited.

As in the first instance, council pointed out that some of the local street names, like Squaw Valley, are derived from past Olympic host cities.

"This is when Whistler was in the aspirational stage and hoping to join that club ... Squaw Valley of course got the nod when we didn't, so it's named after a ski area," said Coun. Cathy Jewett.

"Will the ski area change its name? Could we find perhaps another Olympic site instead? Or could we, just so that we save money on printing, call it Squamish Valley Crescent?"

Seeing as it's the second letter council has received on the topic, it may be time to consider making a change, said Coun. Sue Maxwell.

"It would be great if staff would be able to reach out to other people (who live) on the street to (ask) ... is it time for us to pick a different name that is not offensive?"

SOLID WASTE ENFORCEMENT BEGINS

Businesses and stratas take note—the one-year grace period behind the RMOW's new solid waste bylaw is officially over, and municipal bylaw services are now able to issue fines for non-compliance.

The new bylaw requires all commercial and strata properties to collect and divert food waste, implement three-stream waste collection (recycling, compost and garbage) and monitor and prevent contamination of recycling and organic waste.

RMOW staff has worked with the Association of Whistler Area Residents for the Environment over the past year to support businesses and stratas through the transition.

"We did not issue fines for infractions during this time, recognizing that it would take some time for properties and businesses to update their waste disposal infrastructure, operations and staff training. We know that most businesses and properties are now in compliance with the updated bylaw. Enforcement will focus on a handful of late adopters," Wilhelm-Morden said in a release.

"Solid waste management is a municipal service, which continues to evolve with the community. We are exercising leadership to reduce our community's landfill waste, to protect our natural environment, and to manage wildlife attractants to reduce conflict."

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