Council wades into chalet, villa zoning issue The first four of at least 42 rezoning applications to legalize villa or chalet accommodations came before council Monday night, with one application dying on the spot. The municipality can expect to receive many more rezoning applications, as there are more than 100 units which have been operating as chalet or villa accommodation, all of which the municipality has vowed to shut down if they aren’t properly zoned by the end of May. Three rezoning applications — for villas at 8302 Rainbow Drive and 8147 Meadow Lane in Alpine Meadows and a chalet at 7206 Spruce Grove Circle — received first and second reading from council Monday and will be the subjects of public hearings in the next month. A fourth application, for a villa at 6444 St. Andrew’s Way in Whistler Cay Heights, was defeated on first reading by a 3-2 vote of council. Councillors Nancy Wilhelm-Morden, Ted Milner and Stephanie Sloan voted against the proposal, which sought zoning for a five-bedroom villa which could have accommodated up to 13 guests. Villa accommodation is one in which a single party rents all rooms in a house. Chalet accommodation is where multiple rooms in the same house are rented to multiple parties. Several councillors referred to a number of letters from neighbours opposing the St. Andrew’s Way rezoning application, however Councillor Ken Melamed noted the house has been operated as a villa for the past decade "...but none of the people in opposition could give examples of what they feared having occurred in the last 10 years." Still, Councillors Milner and Sloan suggested the letters from neighbours opposing the rezoning was reason enough to reject the application. Wilhelm-Morden said she had "spoken against tourist accommodation in residential areas from the start. "Nothing stays the same forever, but this is a significant change and I can’t support it," Wilhelm-Morden said. Councillor Kristi Wells, who joined with Melamed in supporting first and second reading so the application could go to a public hearing, said she didn’t accept the argument that tourist accommodation shouldn’t be in residential neighbourhoods. "I think it should go to a public hearing because we haven’t heard from many of the neighbours," Wells said. Mayor Hugh O’Reilly, who owns and operates a house legally zoned for tourist accommodation, declared a conflict of interest and left council chambers while the four rezoning applications were discussed. Councillor Dave Kirk sat as acting mayor. First and second reading for the other three rezoning applications was unanimously approved. Councillors generally felt that because there was little opposition to any of the applications (one letter of concern regarding the Rainbow Drive application) and some letters of support they should be allowed to proceed to a public hearing.