"I think they're calling our names. Maybe now you can't hear them, but you will..." Jimi Hendrix
"Are you Experienced?
Whistler. More than a town. More than a feeling. But how much more? And what makes it so? Citizens of Canada's first ever officially designated resort community are being invited by the Resort Municipality of Whistler (RMOW) to come together April 7, 2011 as we continue working together to update our Official Community Plan (OCP).
You are invited to the Hilton Whistler Resort's Mount Currie Ballroom from 5:30-8:30 p.m. April 7. It's a chance to get a first look at the first draft OCP update policies and talk with RMOW staff that drafted them, be inspired by local citizens through their thoughts on the OCP update, and prioritize how you think The Whistler Experience needs action over the next five to 10 years.
The OCP update began in April 2010 when RMOW Council directed staff to collaborate with the good folks of this resort community to update our OCP. Since then, there have been recurring ideas that keep popping up in our Backyard Brainstorms, Community Advisory Group meetings, at open houses and at February's well-attended OCP update working group sessions - thousands of connections.
First, Whistler understands and respects the fact we have reached our limit to growth, and has requested it be adhered to (the bed cap). Second, they want to protect, maintain and enhance what makes this place special (The Whistler Experience). And, last but not least, our updated OCP should allow Whistler to be flexible, adaptive and smart relative to our ongoing economic viability (sound resort community planning).
The RMOW's 2009 Long Term Financial Plan speaks very clearly to the last idea: "In the face of uncertainties, what Whistler can do as a community is to remain steadfast in its commitment to, and promotion of, The Whistler Experience - the set of unique qualities that makes Whistler appealing as a place to visit, play, and live. The Experience is what sets Whistler apart from other places and helps to ensure its success as a world-class resort community."
Through this OCP update we are working hard to identify the resort community assets that make up The Whistler Experience... they call our names each day in this great place where we live, work and play: "Come ride me," local singletrack and ski trails tempt. "How about a skate or a dip?" says our local lakes. "Wanna stroll with our neighbours and guests or build a business here?" trills our Village. "Get outside and live," says the gloriously accessible nature outside our collective back door.
So far, the OCP Youth Advisory Group, Community Advisory Group and RMOW Council have all listed their resort community assets that help define The Whistler Experience. Come check out what they think makes Whistler special and prioritize what you believe are the most important resort community assets needing action through our updated OCP.
These assets are defined as popularly recognized attributes and advantages of our resort community that we can influence through sound land use plans like our OCP. They are what we want to keep, build upon and sustain for future generations.
Nothing substitutes for local knowledge of an actual place - joint planning and design between engaged citizens and the RMOW is needed to progressively realize long-term opportunities. Now, we can work together to transform Whistler from a rapid growth stage to a period of community development defined by the qualities of this place. We can realistically connect these things to our Whistler2020 vision, values and priorities.
Are you experienced? Come out April 7 and work with the RMOW to create a shared sense of place through the active connection of community wisdom and learning with sound planning by lending your voice to the OCP update. They're calling our names....
For more information about the OCP update go to www.whistler2010.com