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SLRD asks for consultation on boundary expansions

Squamish-Lillooet Regional District Director John Turner is looking for more consultation when it comes to boundary expansions in the region’s member municipalities.

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Turner, who is director of Area D between the south end of Whistler and Furry Creek, raised the issue at Monday’s regular board meeting in Pemberton.

"We hear all these rumours flying around about potential boundary expansions in the SLRD municipalities but we don’t have knowledge of the details or what’s been applied for and what the status is," he said after the meeting.

"This can put electoral area directors on the spot.

"I think that in all fairness the electoral area directors should be aware of boundary expansion applications in Victoria."

Earlier this year the Resort Municipality of Whistler applied to the province for a large boundary expansion as part of the resort’s Olympic legacies.

If granted the boundary expansion would see Whistler increase in size from 16,500 hectares to close to 27,000 hectares.

A portion of the expansion stretches into Area D.

"We keep reading in the paper that there’s boundary extensions or possible boundary extensions with Whistler and really, I don’t think it’s fair that we would have to find out in the paper after the fact," said Turner.

"That shouldn’t be where our information is coming from."

Turner said he would like to see more consultation at the board table.

Board Chair Susan Gimse agreed with Turner.

"These kind of discussions have to come back to this table," she said.

Gimse said the board is working on the Regional Growth Strategy and land use is the top priority of that strategy.

"Clearly this boundary expansion issue is something that should be a part of those discussions," he said.

It also puts board members in an awkward situation when constituents within the boundary area call for clarification and board members cannot help them, she added.

Whistler Mayor Hugh O’Reilly explained Whistler’s application for its boundary expansion would trigger a consultation process.

He also said Whistler’s plans for a boundary expansion have been well known for some time.

Callaghan report comes to regional district

The Squamish-Lillooet Regional District is preparing to rezone land in the Callaghan Valley for Olympic development.

At Monday’s monthly meeting, board members received an information report and instructed staff to prepare the zoning bylaws for first reading in August.

Board Chair Susan Gimse, who recently was on a tour of the area with some of her fellow board members, called the area "beautiful, beautiful country."

According to the report the Whistler Nordic Centre will be rezoned to accommodate a permanent year-round training facility for athletes and commercial recreation opportunities.

It will feature ski jump facilities, a biathlon facility including a shooting range and five kilometres of trails, and a cross-country stadium with 15 km of competition trails.

The plans also include summer and winter recreational amenities to go along with the facilities such as a snow play area with a tube park and outdoor skating rink, an outdoor climbing wall and a RV centre and camping facility for up to 100 sites.

The public will have a chance to comment on the bylaw changes.

An open house on the bylaw changes will be held in the fall once all the environmental assessment documents are handed in for review.

The public hearing for the bylaws will not be held until next year once the environmental assessment process is complete.

Under this timeline the bylaws will likely be adopted in early spring 2005.

Board calls for more information on regional transit

Regional district board members deferred a decision this week to support the concept of a regional transit authority until they more information.

"I need to learn more," said Squamish-Lillooet Regional District Board Chair Susan Gimse.

"I just don’t want to create another Translink."

The board received a report at Monday’s monthly board meeting outlining the basic concept of Regional Transit Authority.

That concept, developed by RMOW staff, calls for a gas tax of roughly three cents per litre to be place on fuel.

The revenue from that tax could then fund regional transit.

Whistler’s Mayor Hugh O’Reilly urged the board to support the concept, saying a support in principle would not commit the board to anything but would send the right signals to move forward.

"It’s a concept without commitment," he said, adding that Whistler and Squamish are supportive of the concept to date.

But he could not get support at the board table.

The board has asked for more information before moving forward with the idea.

Lillooet resident wins logo contest

The SLRD has picked a new logo for the district.

Kim Dudley from Lillooet designed the logo. The logo has a sun shining over mountains with homes in between.

Fifty-four different logos were submitted to the regional district in the design contest.

"They were very clever, very well done," said Board Chair Susan Gimse.

Dudley will receive $2,000 for designing the winning logo.

Staff will now incorporate the logo on stationary and other things in time for the Union of British Columbia Municipalities convention this fall.

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