News » Whistler

spruce grove gate

Spruce Grove and White Gold will remain separate subdivisions, divided by an electronic gate, council decided Monday. Going against the recommendations of staff and the Transportation Advisory Group, councillors voted 5-1 to prohibit through traffic between the two subdivisions. Buses and municipal vehicles will be allowed through the electronic gate, just as is the case with the gate dividing Blueberry Hill from Whistler Cay. Ted Milner was the only councillor in favour of opening up the Fitzsimmons Road North-Blackcomb Way route to all traffic. Councillors cited protection of neighbourhoods as one of the primary motivations for not opening the route. "This is one of the things I take issue with in the TAG report, because it would be disruptive to the neighbourhoods," Councillor Nancy Wilhelm-Morden said. The TAG report has not been made public but TAG members have seen a draft of the report. But councillors also noted their decision may have to be revisited in few years, when other properties in the area are developed and a new bridge over Fitzsimmons Creek is built. Milner, in supporting staff’s recommendation to open the road to through traffic, noted the Official Community Plan had designated Blackcomb Way a network road and said that to block it off upset the overall transportation plan for the valley. "I’m sympathetic to the neighbours’ concerns," Milner said. "But a gate is an expensive, contrived solution that does not fit our overall plan." Wilhelm-Morden responded that the network road designation was made before Spruce Grove was zoned for residential development. She suggested that installing a gate was not a "patchwork decision." Director of Public Works John Nelson estimated the cost of the gate at $35,000-$45,000, with an annual maintenance cost of $2,000-$3,000. Nelson added that staff have learned from the problems with the Blueberry gate and the Spruce Grove gate should pose fewer technical problems.