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Temporary housing may soon be possible in Pemberton, mayor says

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Pemberton officials are looking into getting a process in place to zone for temporary housing and parking.

“There has been recognition in response to Olympic issues, more than anything else, that there are going to be temporary use requests,” said Pemberton mayor Jordan Sturdy.

Following a meeting last week, municipal staff are looking into allowing temporary use in the town’s industrial park.

Sturdy said a variety of issues need to be resolved, but the plan is to have a process in place that could fast-track a temporary structure application.

The industrial site is both serviced and flat, lending itself well to temporary structures. Temporary houses and parking would also have less of an impact on the industrial site than other areas of the village.  

After a process has been developed for the industrial park, the municipality could look at a second process that would apply to the village core.

“If we were to extend a temporary use process, we would look at how we would change that process to take into consideration the more public aspect of the village core,” he said.

According to Sturdy, these discussions are not in response to a specific temporary housing proposal.

“We are just trying to position the village in a way that allows us to be responsive and timely in our decision making, and not having to go, ‘Oh my god, what do we do about this? We haven’t thought about that one’, because we recognize that temporary uses, by their nature, will probably be just-in-time kind of proposals.”

Ralph Forsyth, co-chair of the Whistler H.O.M.E. committee, said the H.O.M.E. group has not yet proposed setting up their neighbourhood of temporary modular homes in Pemberton.

“We had thought that Pemberton might be the solution,” he said.

“There is space up there that I think would be able to do it… but we have not approached anyone up there.”

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