There won’t be a Chevron service station, at least not at Highway 99 and Nancy Greene Drive.
Most councillors feel there should be a service station north of the village but only one — Ted Milner — voted in favour of the Chevron proposal when it came up for third reading at Monday’s council meeting.
The 6-1 vote against the Chevron proposal came one week after a public hearing on the project. Several members of council said this week their vote against the Chevron was based on public sentiment expressed at the public hearing.
"It’s not my personal opinion, that’s based on what the community represented," Councillor Kristi Wells said.
Wells added she doesn’t think there’s another site north of the village where a gas station can be built any time soon.
"The community is going to have to accept no gas station to the north for a couple of years," Wells said.
Mayor Hugh O’Reilly, who didn’t have to vote but expressed his opinion, said public sentiment swayed him, too.
"If this was the highest priority of the community I would agree with Councillor Milner, but this is not the most important thing for the community," O’Reilly said. "On a scale of 1 to 10 it’s not that important. It’s a convenience. It would have been nice..."
O’Reilly later said he believes the proposed site is the best location for a service station north of the village, but because the public opposed it he could not support it.
Councillor Dave Kirk said he’s had reservations about the site since it was proposed in 1993, but indicated opposition to the Chevron from White Gold and Nesters residents was why he voted against it.
"This not one of the most significant decisions I’ve had to make (while on council), but it is for some parts of the community," Kirk said.
Councillor Nancy Wilhelm-Morden said she had concerns about traffic and safety at the intersection of Highway 99 and Nancy Greene Drive.
Councillor Ken Melamed questioned the need for another gas station.
"I object to the concept we need this thing so desperately we go against the wishes of its neighbours," Melamed said.
In contrast to the other councillors, Milner felt those in favour of the Chevron were not heard. He said he understood several people who were going to speak in favour of the Chevron proposal at the public hearing felt intimidated by those opposing the station. He also said he received calls from opponents which "bordered on harassment."
Milner said the White Gold neighbourhood was "well beyond" the Chevron site and the only real neighbours for the service station were the three houses across Nancy Greene Drive, the Shoestring Lodge and the Boot Pub.
Any other sites north of the village would contribute to strip development along the highway, Milner said.
Several councillors praised Chevron as a good corporate citizen. The company has supported the W5 Foundation in putting on the World Cup ski race. Chevron also offered the new Whistler Resident Housing Corporation an option on its property at Lorimer Road and Highway 99 for resident housing.