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rr1 zone

Opposition was fierce Monday night to a zoning amendment bylaw that would, among other things, delete several permitted uses from the RR1 (rural resource) zoning. "The crudeness of this proposal is alarming, dictatorial," Jim Gruetzke said. "If you don't want any indoor or outdoor recreation to take place in Whistler this is a good way to do it," said Rod Nadeau. "This is grossly unfair," Randy Symons suggested. The comments were in reference to the proposed deletion of permitted uses on RR1 land, including a church, a hostel, indoor recreation, public institution, and "rental outdoor recreation equipment and supplies." The opponents, many of whom own parcels of land zoned RR1, feel the deletion of those permitted uses would decrease the value of RR1 land. Approximately 25 people showed up at a Monday's public hearing. Virtually all who spoke opposed the bylaw. Council, as is its policy, deferred voting on the matter to a later date. Council felt it needed to amend the permitted uses on RR1 land to ensure it controlled land use, particularly in relation to the bed unit ceiling on development. The issue began when Symons built the Edgewater Inn on RR1 land at the edge of Green Lake, land that he has owned since 1965. The Edgewater is considered a hostel, by legal definition, although it is more upscale than traditional youth hostels. Symons attempted to build several different projects on the land over the years but his rezoning applications were turned down each time. There are approximately 35 privately held parcels of RR1 land within the municipal boundaries. Many of them have been owned by the same people for 20 years or more. "Most of the uses you are deleting were not viable 20 years ago," said Nadeau, who owns land at Rainbow. "Hostels were intended as an RR1 use. The Symons family have done a good job with their hostel." Realtor Don Wensley, who has represented the McDonald's land in Whistler Cay, pointed out that the municipality has been collecting taxes for years based on the value of the RR1 land. If the permitted uses are deleted the value will decline. "You're doing a very destructive, damaging thing," he told council. "I don't think your personal homes are more sacred than RR1 land. If your $500,000 home was zoned park and worth only $50,000 overnight — tough cookie." Gary Raymond, president of Intrawest's Resort Development Group, listed a number of concerns Blackcomb has with the proposed bylaw and suggested the wording had gone beyond the intent. He cited as examples the deletion of indoor recreation and activities which would seem to prohibit activities such as the Kodak Star Theatre in Blackcomb's restaurants in the summer. In addition to deleting permitted uses on RR1 land the bylaw amends and adds several definitions and creates a new zone (leisure recreation 5) which covers the Whistler and Chateau golf courses.