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ta zoning

By Loreth Beswetherick Future buyers of condos take note, not all units within one strata complex are created equal, especially at the Ridge at Taluswood. Council voted Monday, Dec. 20 to give first two readings to rezone only one of the 26 units in the Ridge project from tourist use back to residential use. A public hearing will now be scheduled. This was done at the same time council adopted a bylaw to have the entire Ridge complex zoned for nightly rentals along with five other Intrawest properties, including Taluswood Phase 1, Forest Creek, Blackcomb Greens, Treeline and the Woods. The fancy footwork was needed because the owner of unit 23 at the Ridge would not apply to become a member of Tourism Whistler. A condition of tourist accommodation zoning is that all six properties have to be designated as being on resort lands and owners must obtain and maintain resort association membership. The only property not already on resort lands was the Ridge at Taluswood, a development comprised of 26 distinct strata lots under separate ownership. In terms of the Resort Municipality of Whistler Act, membership in the resort association (Tourism Whistler) and a resort lands designation can only be initiated by the property owner. It cannot be applied to properties unilaterally by the municipality or the resort association. This meant all 26 owners had to apply for Tourism Whistler membership. The owners of unit 23 did not and indicated they will not comply. This meant the bylaw for all six properties could not be adopted. Legal counsel advised planning staff that simply excluding the one unit would be considered a change in the proposed zoning and another public hearing would be required. Staff was left with two options, either prepare two new zoning amendments — one for the five properties already on resort lands and one for the 25 units at the Ridge — or, rezone only unit 23. Municipal legal advice supports the municipality’s ability to zone only certain units within a strata-titled property as well as the ability to rezone unit 23 for tourist use and then rezone back to its original residential use. Director of planning Mike Purcell told council the owners of unit 23 could still apply for tourist zoning in the future.

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