illage property owners fight for redevelopment rights 

Growth management strategy, bed unit cap, village character are councillors’ concerns

Village property owners are getting worried about the proposed changes to the commercial core zone which will effectively limit their opportunities for redevelopment and expansion.

Several letters to council this week expressed concern about the zoning amendment bylaw which would essentially freeze all properties at their current size, thereby taking away development rights allowed within the current zoning.

A letter from Robert Swift of the strata council of Tantalus Lodge explained the dilemma for property owners in that lodge.

He said the lodge, which is 25 years old, is in need of significant repairs and restoration if it is to continue to complement the village.

Property owners would like to redevelop the lodge but at no out-of-pocket cost to them.

"This probably means that the redevelopment would require sufficient additional space to allow additional units to be sold by the developer of the project to permit the recovery of the construction costs together with a reasonable profit to the developer," wrote Swift.

Currently the Tantalus Lodge has a floor space ratio 0.65. Before redevelopment in the CC1 was frozen, the Tantalus – like all buildings in the CC1 zone – could have grown to a floor space ratio of 3.5.

Many of the properties in the CC1 zone, which stretches from the Tantalus Lodge in the south to Village Gate Boulevard on the north and Blackcomb Way on the east, with a few exceptions, are not built to their current allowable size.

Of the 30 buildings in the area, only a handful, such as the Pan Pacific and the Sundial Hotel, are even close to their maximum development potential.

"The rezoning will have no impact on other properties in the CC1 zone that are currently developed to as high as a 3.25 or 3.50 FSR, but will dramatically affect, and effectively prevent, the necessary redevelopment of Tantalus," wrote Swift.

As such, the Tantalus strata asked to be excluded from the rezoning process.

The Tantalus Lodge strata isn’t the only property that’s concerned with the proposed amendment.

Dennis Hilton, strata council chair for the Timberline Lodge, also expressed concerns and asked that the lodge not be included in the rezoning process or be grandfathered under the existing CC1 bylaw.

"Doing so will allow us to renovate and redevelop our property in a manner that will not only create a viable business model but will also help our owners finance the renovations required for the property," wrote Hilton.

"We are asking for the RMOW’s support for the transformation of the Timberline Lodge from its current state – a lump of coal – into a diamond that we envision will be a positive tourism amenity in Whistler Village."

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