Council Briefs: Fairmont Chateau Whistler concierge accepted into Les Clefs d’Or Society 

click to enlarge PHOTO BY BRAD KASSELMAN COASTPHOTO.COM - GOLD KEY SERVICE: Daniel Havens (third form the left), concierge at The Fairmont Chateau Whistler, was accepted into Les Clefs d’Or Society (LCD) this week. With him are Stephane Mouttet (LCD BC Director), Virginia Casale (LCD world director), Daniel Havens (Concierge FCWR), Norm Mastilir (managing director, FCWR), and Mayor Nancy Wilhelm-Morden.
  • Photo by Brad Kasselman Coastphoto.com
  • GOLD KEY SERVICE: Daniel Havens (third form the left), concierge at The Fairmont Chateau Whistler, was accepted into Les Clefs d’Or Society (LCD) this week. With him are Stephane Mouttet (LCD BC Director), Virginia Casale (LCD world director), Daniel Havens (Concierge FCWR), Norm Mastilir (managing director, FCWR), and Mayor Nancy Wilhelm-Morden.

Local concierge honoured into Les Clefs d'Or Society

Daniel Havens, concierge at The Fairmont Chateau Whistler, was accepted into Les Clefs d'Or Society this week.

The mayor congratulated Havens during her Mayor's Report at Tuesday's evening meeting.

Members of Les Clefs d'Or are leaders in the concierge industry and can wear the gold keys on their lapels as a sign of their status.

"The golden keys worn by Concierge signify their membership in our organization and are granted exclusively to those who have not only consistently demonstrated an unsurpassed knowledge of their respective communities, but by those who demand excellence of themselves when meeting the needs of you, our guests," states Hugo Legrand, president of Les Clefs d'Or Canada, on its website.

The Clefs d'Or event was held at the Vancouver Art Gallery on Dec. 3.

Whistler wants to review private composting facility

Whistler has written a letter to the Ministry of Environment over concerns with the new composting facility north of town and how it may impact the region's solid waste plan.

Specifically, municipal staff is asking that the Solid Waste Management Plan amendment process be followed to ensure the Sea to Sky Soils facility is not detrimental to overall solid waste management in the Squamish Lillooet Regional District (SLRD).

Staff called it a "very large facility" in its report before council at Tuesday's Committee of the Whole meeting.

It has been open for just a few months, operating out of the Rutherford area, and now its proponent Mateo Ocejo is looking for Whistler's food waste.

But Whistler needs the food waste too, particularly if it moves ahead with upgrades to the municipal compost facility, designed to stem the flow of biosolids getting shipped out of Whistler at certain times.

James Hallisey, manager of environmental projects, explained that the municipality could stop shipping some of its biosolids south of the border by potentially making capital improvements to the relatively new $12 million Whistler composter.

Staff is expecting a final draft of a report on a cost/benefit analysis of the Whistler composting facility this week. It will need food waste to make it financially sound.

"If we expand the capacity of our tunnels, we want to put more stuff in there," he said.

If, for example, Whistler builds a storage facility to keep its wood chips dry, that could also help process the biosolids and the food waste into the Class A topsoil.

That's not the same soil Sea to Sky Soil promises. Theirs, they say, can be used in organic farming. Unlike Whistler's soil, there are no biosolids at the other facility.

There was some debate at the committee table on whether or not Sea to Sky Soils is a truly certified organic product that can be used in a truly organic farm.

"If it can or can't, it seems to me there are two separate mixes," said Mayor Nancy Wilhelm-Morden.

"Can we clarify that?"

Staff added that there's nothing to prevent Sea to Sky Soils from canvassing local restaurants and hotels for food waste.

Councillor Jayson Faulkner added: "I don't see how we can make any good decisions on this without it going through an amendment."

Cell tower proposals to expand service but aesthetics a concern

Council is still concerned about the proliferation of cell towers with two new towers continuing to raise alarm bells.

When she learned that Whistler already has 31 cell towers, the mayor declared: "31! Then we're not going to be erecting new ones."

Of course, that may be out of Whistler's hands with higher levels of government claiming cell tower jurisdiction.

But council's concern over another 41-metre tower in Alpine and a 37-metre tower at the corner of Lorimer Road and Highway 99 is clear.

"Every time I drive into Alpine I curse the one that's there - the 41-metre one," said Wilhelm-Morden referring to the existing cell tower above her Alpine home.

The new towers are from Wind Mobile looking to expand its service in the Whistler area.

"It's really important that we all work together in a collaborative way," said Erica Rigik, Wind Mobile's manager of real estate and municipal affairs, western region, at the Committee of the Whole meeting.

Municipal manager of resort planning Mike Kirkegaard called the two towers "significant proposals."

The municipality is trying to understand what its role is and its ability to influence decisions.

The Lorimer tower is of particular concern. Wind Mobile is planning on building a monopine, a tower disguised as a pine tree.

"We're very concerned about the location relative to the highway corridor and the entry/arrival experience for our guests into the village," said Kirkegaard.

Council delays third reading of Horstman rezoning bylaw

With a lone neighbour speaking out at the Horstman rezoning public hearing, council delayed moving the bylaws forward as per its policy.

Maurice White, the neighbour immediately south of the proposed rezoning, asked council to consider rejecting the rezoning request.

The rezoning would allow the owner of the empty lot to take advantage of changes the municipality has made to address illegal space issue rife in Whistler.

Namely, without the rezoning the lot can legally accommodate a 3,500 square foot home. With the rezoning, it can accommodate 6,000 square feet.

The proposal, outlined to council, is for a main floor of 185 square metres (2,000 square feet) and a basement of up to 231 square metres (2,500 square feet).

"This is a very significant increase that I have considerable difficulty with," said White.

"(It) leaves me feeling a little bit at odds."

As per its policy when it hears negative comments at a public hearing, council delayed consideration of third reading of the bylaws.

Municipal facility fees see slight increase

There's a growing gap between revenues and expenses at municipal facilities, in part prompting a three per cent increase in facility rental fees.

Some spots are seeing a larger increase such as the gyms at the local schools - seven per cent at Myrtle Philip and Spring Creek and 16 per cent at Whistler Secondary.

This is to align with the actual costs the municipality is required to pay to the school district.

Meanwhile, council has approved a three-month extension of rates for admissions and passes at Meadow Park.

The prices remain unchanged until April 1.

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