Letters to the editor 

Nita Lake project worked with community

Probably more than anyone, I am disappointed that our Nita Lake project has encountered further delay. We have worked very hard to design a project that contributes to the overall benefit of Whistler.

The baseline premise of our project application is conformity with the planning guidelines for the Whistler Creek neighbourhood. Three community studies were used to help create a very appropriate land use for the property.

  1. Whistler 2002 – Charting a Course for the Future (1999). This study envisions a renewed and revitalized Whistler Creek to enhance the overall Whistler experience.
  2. Offical Community Plan (1994). The OCP designates Whistler Creek as a focus for commercial development and calls for a strong anchor at each end of Lake Placid Road. The development guidelines for Whistler Creek call for larger building forms at the designated anchor points.
  3. Whistler Creek Study – A Growth Strategy – 1991. This study recognizes Whistler Creek as a the original ski base and notes that it remains the entranceway to the resort. The study advocates commercial activity on Lake Placid Road and a new passenger rail station. A lodge at the end of the road is suggested as an anchor development to draw locals and visitors through Whistler Creek.

The Advisory Planning Commission (APC) gave the project a thorough review and unanimously recommended that it go forward. The Nita Lake project will be the catalyst jthat brings about the long awaited development changes in the Whistler Creek neighbourhood.

Another very important component of the planning process is the Whistler Sustainability Initiative. The Nita Lake project contributes to all three tenants of the plan:

Economic sustainability – The Nita Lake project, combined with new rail tour business will bring $500 million new dollars to Whistler between 2005 and 2010.

Environmental sustainability – The transfer of the Alpha Creek wetlands to a nature’s trust will preserve this environmentally sensitive land in perpetuity.

Social sustainability – The provision of 250 new employee bed units will keep Whistler residents living in Whistler at a time when housing prices are higher than most workers can afford.

We are honest people who operate in an open, transparent manner.. We care about the long-term impact our project has on Whistler. The community benefits evolved from an extensive public consultation process. This constructive input has increased the overall quality of our project. It involved a lot of hard work for everyone, but it was very necessary. To suggest, as some people have done, that working closely with the community to design a development which also benefits the community as a whole constitutes bribery, is offensive to the entire public process.


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