Last week a Supreme Court Judge ruled that asphalt production is a permitted activity within the zoning of Alpine Paving's property at Cheakamus Crossing, nullifying a municipal cease-and-desist order that was ignored by the company anyway.
The news came as a blow to residents, some of whom have been fighting the plant's operations for over two years. They are adamant that the plant no longer belongs next to a residential neighbourhood and they argue that it was never properly zoned.
Few even knew it existed until they had already made down payments and visited the site while it was under construction, and the disclosure statement in their real estate documents suggested that the municipality was working to have it relocated.
But the court ruling on the plant is not the only disappointment that newcomers to the mainly employee housing neighbourhood have had to face in the last year and a half since they took possession of their duplexes, townhouses and condos:
• The District Energy System (DES) that captures heat from the sewage treatment plant and pipes it to homes in Cheakamus Crossing has not resulted in any real savings, as some residents believed it would. In fact, some believe the combination of hydro, gas and DES is actually more expensive.
The system also needs to be manually reset by owners after a power outage, and one resident has posted on the neighbourhood Facebook page that she has had five "red screens" since taking up residence in the fall of 2010.
According to Facebook posts, some residents are paying out of their own pockets to have the DES infrastructure inspected before the warranty on the system runs out.
• Residents were led to believe that the Canadian Sports Centre gym at the Whistler Athletes Centre would be open to the public when it wasn't booked out by sports teams. However, those open hours never materialized as the gym is far busier with sports teams and programming than expected. The facility is also well funded and does not need to bring in the public to offset operational costs.
• Last fall, the municipality attempted to close several parking lots in Cheakamus Crossing that were being used as overflow parking by residents. One vacant lot at the top of Mt. Fee Road was kept open until April, but according to residents that could close soon and no alternatives have been offered.
Chef Adam Protter, who has three large vehicles — a van for transporting his disabled daughter, a pickup truck for towing his large barbecue and the trailer with the barbecue itself — does not have enough room for more than one of his vehicles on his property.
"(The municipality) made some promises and said they'll allow us to park on the gravel lot at the top of Mt. Fee Road until April, but it's a terrible place," said Protter. "We agreed at the meeting that we should be able to park where we always have down below, as long as bylaw does its job and enforces things like vehicles without wheels or proper insurance."
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