Taylor's west side development raises eye of muni By Andy Stonehouse Whistler municipal staff are investigating the legality of a recent round of road-building and tree-clearing on a west side property owned by John Taylor. For the past several weeks, drivers travelling the southern section of Alta Lake Road may have seen heavy equipment and trucks hauling fill into Taylor's 22 acre property, which borders Nita Lake and the Tyrol Lodge. In the past, Taylor has expressed interest in building homes on the property, but has failed to garner council support or the necessary bed units to do so. Recent construction at the property caught the interest of Dave MacPhail, municipal building inspector, who said he visited the site last week and took photos of the work underway. "He's got a full-blown excavation under way, but we believe the tree preservation bylaw is in effect," MacPhail said. "We will have the pictures developed and sent to the parks department. I think the cutting of the trees is an issue." MacPhail said staff followed a truck removing rock fill from the Westin Hotel site in the village to Taylor's property, where it is being used to build a road into the midst of the area. Taylor said the project merely represents roadwork preceding his plans to finally build a single home on the property. "I've put in an application with the muni to build a very large home there, and I'm required to build a road of proper grade and width, with a turnaround for the fire department," he said." Taylor said he's already had lengthy discussions with the Ministry of Environment and BC Rail regarding the project, with a survey of the road project done a year ago. Now the road work has been completed and Taylor said the area is also serviced by a six-inch water line. Taylor said that prior to construction, the area had been used as an illegal camping site and received significant damage during a 2.5 acre forest fire in 1996. He said the Ministry of Forests, BC Rail and the fire department had asked for an access road in case a similar fire broke out again. Taylor said he would also like to be able to construct a series of narrow pathways through the property, some stretching as far as the BC Rail station in Creekside. He insists the single home is the full extent of the project. "If I get the house built, that's enough. If they wait 30 years, I may get some bed units to build more on the property. For now, there's no permission to go on with any other development. Our hope is that there has to be change on the entire attitude of council and a lift on the bed unit cap." Taylor said he had hoped that investing $300,000 in the construction of tennis courts between the BC Rail station and Nita Lake may have helped yield bed units, but such was not the case.