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VANOC applies to put temporary housing on Holborn property

Temporary commercial use applications to house 660 people go before council Oct. 6

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VANOC has officially thrown its hat into the ring and asked the municipality for permission to house 260 people near Whistler Village between now and May 1, 2010.

This week, manager of community planning Bill Brown verified Whistler is processing an application from the Vancouver Organizing Committee (VANOC) to construct a temporary housing complex out of Britco buildings on the Holborn property near the Whistler Tennis Club.

VANOC's request for a temporary commercial use permit (TCUP) will go before council on Tuesday, Oct. 6. The application, which the municipality received on Sept. 14, also includes plans to park 250 vehicles on site.

"We've made encouraging progress in securing accommodation and are grateful for the ongoing collaboration with the community," said Jacqui Murdock, vice-president of services and accommodation with VANOC.

"We are finalizing accommodation details with our partners and more information on those details will be made available once final discussions are complete."

VANOC's complex is not the only housing project slated to go on the serviced plot of land. Private developer, Alvaro Ponce de Leon, who has been promising to build temporary housing on the Holborn property since February, also submitted a TCUP application to the municipality on Sept. 18.

This time, Ponce de Leon hopes to use prefabricated modular units and house up to 400 people in a series of one-, two- and three-storey buildings.

Over the past year, the private developer has been having trouble getting people to sign up for his beds, and last month, he announced he hopes to fill his buildings with national Olympic team members, security personnel, and unaccredited media.

Ponce de Leon could not be contacted this week to explain whether he has found tenants yet. However, a spokesperson from Tourism Whistler said so far, unaccredited media have not shown interest in the prefabricated structures.

"It is quite non-traditional, as far as what media would expect," said Casey Vanden Heuvel, director of communications at Tourism Whistler.

"We haven't had media demonstrate any interest up to now. I would expect, if there is still space available, that would be more of a last minute decision."

In the meantime, Tourism Whistler is trying to hook up other staff associated with media - like cameramen and technical crews - with Ponce de Leon.

 

 

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