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RR1 zoning

Hostels to be deleted from list of permitted uses on RR1 land Hostels are among the currently permitted uses for RR1 land that will be deleted under a bylaw given first two readings by council Tuesday. A hostel allows for up to 25 bed units, but in the present bed unit inventory RR1 land has been counted as having only six bed units, the equivalent of one single family house. If all RR1 land owners built hostels on their property the 52,500 bed unit ceiling would be exceeded. It was under the existing RR1 zoning that Randy Symons was allowed to construct the Edgewater hostel on his property on Green Lake. "People sitting on lands expecting to be able to do certain things now have fewer options (as to) what they can do on their land," Mayor Ted Nebbeling said. The McDonald’s property, five parcels of RR1 land in the Whistler Cay area that were part of the failed freestyle training centre proposal, have been advertised as suitable for a hostel. Councillor Max Kirkpatrick questioned whether the municipality could be held legally accountable for changing the permitted uses on RR1 after the property has been advertised. Planner Caroline Hicks replied that lawyers have said the municipality is under no legal obligation if it "down zones" property. However, Nebbeling noted the matter has become a moral issue as well as a legal issue. There are several owners of large parcels of RR1 land throughout the Whistler Valley. The change doesn’t mean hostels will no longer be allowed in Whistler, only that to build a hostel a property owner will have to apply for rezoning — but with few exceptions, the municipality is not considering any rezoning that would increase the number of bed units. All owners of RR1 land will be notified of a public hearing on the new bylaw. It’s the second time in 13 months council has introduced a bylaw to amend the permitted uses of Rural Resource 1 land. Last year council was criticized for holding a public hearing on the proposed amendments without notifying each individual land owner affected by the bylaw.

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