The Whistler Campground is opening as scheduled next Friday, a week-and-a-half after the municipality pared the number of proposals for new campgrounds in the valley from six down to four.
As the RV's, tents and trailers start to roll into Whistler people are going to have a place to park and pitch their tents, but the politics of finding another site for a campground continue to roll on.
Two years ago municipal council put out a proposal call for developers to submit campground sites and plans. Only three proposals were received and none were deemed suitable.
The proposal call went out when Whistler Campground was expected to close for good, because Greenside Properties Inc. had an option to develop the campground into an affordable housing project and a company called Whistler International Schools was planning on opening a private secondary school/sports academy on a section of the campground as well.
Whistler Mayor Ted Nebbeling says the call for proposals to develop another Whistler campground was made because the plans to develop the Whistler Campground are still going on, although they have hit a number of legal snags.
Greenside Properties has an option to buy the Whistler Campground lands, but the owners of the Whistler Campground have twice appealed to have that option revoked. Both tries have been denied. Nebbeling says while the legal wrangling continues, the municipality must prepare for the day the Whistler Campground may close for good.
"Greenside (Properties) are ready to go with their development and the funds are in place for the development of the private school, but the issue is still before the courts," Nebbeling says. "The possibility of having two campgrounds in the municipality is going to be looked at very hard."
At Monday's council meeting, Whistler Council passed a motion asking the four remaining campground proponents, O'Mara/Woods, Mons Property Development Ltd., Garrand Holding and the Whistler Housing Corporation, to submit further information regarding a 12 month campground. The submissions are to include a proposed timeline for development and the consideration of two campgrounds in Whistler.
O'Mara/Woods is proposing a campground immediately north of Spruce Grove Park, bisected by Fitzsimmons Creek. Mons Property Development Ltd. would like to develop a campground just north of the B.C. Hydro Rainbow substation. Garrand Holdings is proposing land at the south-west end of Green lake, north of the River of Golden Dreams, a hostel is in the final stages of completion on the land. The final proposal, from the Whistler Housing Corporation, would see a campground on Alta Lake Road west of Nita Lake and Alpha Lake Park.
Nebbeling says two of the six proposals have already been eliminated because they were deemed too far from the village to be viable. The rejected proposals were from Murray Coates and BCR Properties. Coates' proposal was on the Cougar Mountain access road. The BCR Properties proposal was on land south of Rainbow Park.