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Seniors uneasy about Holborn housing

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Whistler seniors are getting anxious about when their housing will be built on the Holborn site.

Two representatives from the Mature Action Committee (MAC) came to council Tuesday night to voice their concerns and ask for help. Gordon Leidal and Garry Watson said they have talked to a representative from the Holborn development group to try and get their seniors housing built sooner.

"Unfortunately, to date, Holborn has indicated a preference to keep all of its options open, including the delay of the construction schedule, by doing nothing," said Leidal.

He asked council to take over the seniors housing portion of the multi-phase development, which also includes a tennis and fitness facility as well as market housing.

"We see this transfer now as an act in good faith," said Leidal. "It would allow the housing project to proceed if feasible earlier than the date of eight years."

The Holborn proposal has been in negotiations since May 2004, with the latest agreement seeing Holborn giving the tennis facility and seniors housing to the municipality when they are built. In order to build on the site, the Holborn property has to be rezoned. Their rezoning application received third reading in May 2008.

When Holborn will build has been a major issue. Following a meeting with council last year, Holborn and the municipality tightened their agreement so that some of the market housing will not be built until after the other two amenities are built. The seniors housing, however, is not slated for completion until 2016.

On Tuesday, Mayor Ken Melamed acknowledged the seniors' concerns.

"I think all of us are disappointed with the reluctance of Holborn to move forward on the project," said Melamed.

"Holborn has got their finger on the button, and we don't know if there is anything we can do from the municipality's side, but we will take your request to heart."

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