It took Mayor Hugh O’Reilly to break a tie but Whistler council voted 4-3 Monday that the Crown is entitled to 84 bed units that weren’t used in the development of Nordic Estates.
The Crown would like to use the 84 bed units to develop a 14-lot subdivision at the north end of Alpine Meadows on unsurveyed Crown land. The issue of where the bed units will end up will be dealt with later.
Council’s discussion Monday centred around whether the bed units should still exist. A report from staff noted that in 1992 a previous Whistler council resolved to allow: "Consideration by council of the remaining development rights at a later date."
However, Councillor Ken Melamed suggested a number of reasons why the bed units should be dissolved. Melamed argued that the changes to the Crown’s bed unit total in Nordic have been arbitrary, that previous councils have been generous in granting the Crown bed units, that these bed units were intended to be for public beds, that rezoning unsurveyed Crown land is not consistent with the municipality’s Official Community Plan, and that the present council should deal with the public’s expectations.
Melamed was supported by Councillors Nancy Wilhelm-Morden and Stephanie Sloan.
Councillor Ted Milner countered that the municipality has to consider its relationship to the Crown, particularly with regard to future school and employee housing sites. He noted that the Crown had accepted the municipality’s request not to develop on Nesters Hill when it had the zoning and the bed units to do so.
Administrator Jim Godfrey also stressed the municipality’s relationship with the Crown, but said of the 84 bed units: "from our perspective, this is a commitment that has been made."
Wilhelm-Morden pointed out that the staff recommendation to council in 1992 was to not bank the 84 bed units, but council voted otherwise.
"Now, as we’re approaching the cap, every rock is being turned over to see if there are any bed units remaining," Wilhelm-Morden said.
"We’re going to see more and more of this."
A decision on whether the Crown will get to use the 84 bed units in Alpine Meadows or somewhere else will be made at a later date.