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Winter transit service to start earlier this year

Council briefs: Bayshores LUC up for termination

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Whistler's full winter transit service will start a week earlier than last year—on Dec. 7 rather than Dec. 15—while the 10 Valley Express route will also get more trips.

The pilot-project route was introduced in December as a commuter-oriented service for people north and south of the village, and received rave reviews from passengers.

"The boardings per trip are still strong. We have less service [in the summer] but we have a lot of people still using it, and it's growing," said transportation demand management coordinator Emma DalSanto in a presentation to council on Sept. 17.

"We will use that information to look forward to next year and how to improve things for spring, summer, fall of next year."

Feedback shows that riders want better access to the village and temporary stops to be made permanent, DalSanto said.

"So we've been working with the Ministry of Transportation ... to make those temporary stops permanent, and we're aiming to do that before winter," she said, adding the 10 Valley Express will see an additional five northbound and three southbound trips every day this winter.

"For this particular service it's an increase of 50 per cent," she said. "So that's where we're going to be spending most of our expansion for the winter."

BAYSHORES LAND USE CONTRACT UP FOR TERMINATION

Zoning bylaws to replace the Land Use Contract (LUC) in Whistler's Bayshores neighbourhood are now being drafted after receiving council's authorization on Sept. 17, with a public information meeting to follow.

In May of 2014, the Local Government Act was amended to automatically terminate all LUCs on June 30, 2024—which means municipalities across B.C. must have new zoning in place for these areas before June 30, 2022.

When the legislation was changed, there were eight LUCs in the Resort Municipality of Whistler, which affected more than 3,000 owners in 60 different strata corporations and 31 fee simple lots.

The RMOW has been working its way through them one by one since 2016 (Bayshores being the fourth).

Staff is proposing a new comprehensive zone for the neighbourhood based on the regulations, permits and covenants in its existing LUC, known as the Residential Multiple Bayshores (RMB) zone.

"It's intended to mirror the regulations established by the LUC, the permit process and the covenants," said planner Roman Licko in a presentation to council, adding that one change is to allow auxiliary residential dwelling units, which are not considered under the LUC.

"There's an opportunity here with the RMB zone to allow auxiliary residential dwelling units ... which would be consistent with what we do in other residential zones," he said.

"This would provide for housing opportunities, and the associated density would still have to be within the allowable density on the parcel."

Auxiliary dwelling units don't constitute bed units under Whistler's Official Community Plan, Licko noted.

A public information meeting will be held for the neighbourhood to review the proposed zoning before bylaws are brought forward. A mailout of the proposed zone will also be sent to property owners for questions and comments.

"It's a very complex neighbourhood built over many years, and I think you've done a good job of respecting [and] recognizing existing owners' rights and their investment," said Councillor Duane Jackson, adding that he's heard from a number of residents concerned about parking issues.

"I'm wondering if the same parking bylaw will apply and how they can manage that internally on the strata properties or if there's anything we can do ... that allows us to refine a little bit on the management of parking," he said.

Historically, it is the case that parking has been permitted on strata roads, Licko said. "That's something we're still looking at," he said.

"We're trying to work out what the correct language would be, but we're going to have recognize that parking on those roads, because many of those lots are really, very small, and getting the required parking spots onto one of those parcels would be a challenge."

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