monitor 

Fifth in a series of stories on the growth of Whistler and other mountain resorts. These stories are intended to complement information found in the municipality’s monitoring program. The municipal planning department will release results from its 1994-95 monitoring program next week, prior to the second annual Town Hall Meeting Nov. 12. Whistler residents who want to raise their voices and have a say regarding the future of the valley will have that forum at the second annual Town Hall Meeting Nov. 12 at Myrtle Philip Community School. The numbers are being tabulated and the reports are being prepared by Planning Department staff. The data, including concise studies on the environment, transportation, resident satisfaction and housing, will give Whistlerites more information on the state of the valley than has ever previously been available. The Nov. 12 Town Hall meeting will get underway at noon. At last fall’s first Town Hall meeting resident after resident stood up and criticised the monitoring data for a lack of relevance to the environmental and social ills facing valley residents. "People were complaining about the lack of numbers and now we are giving them what they want," says municipal planner Kim Needham. "Some of the data is going to come as a surprise and some of it, I think is just interesting." The $70,000 budget for the second year of the municipal monitoring program will give planners, residents and developers an accurate snapshot of where Whistler is on its development track, what has gone wrong and where improvements can be made. The 1995 monitoring program includes a municipal census, a drinking water quality testing program, air quality testing, environmental mapping, fish and wildlife habitat surveys, a community attitude survey, a second home owner survey and a trail user counting program. "A lot of this information is designed to answer questions people have about the resort and it will give us, as planners, a chance to get some feedback and direction from the people who are affected by decisions made by their elected officials," Needham says. Preceding the Town Hall meeting will be a two-hour open house, where people can peruse charts, maps and information gathered since the last Town Hall meeting. There will be a short presentation by the planning department that will outline the findings and issues raised through the latest round of data collection. Following the presentation the crowd will be broken into groups of 10, each with a facilitator, to discuss a broad selection of questions on six topics. The topics: growth management, housing, natural environment, social issues, regional issues/transportation and public input into the monitoring program will be discussed in the working groups and reports will be prepared by each group. The planning department has prepared a synopsis of the monitoring data that is available at municipal hall. The full monitoring report will be available prior to the Town Hall Meeting for a $5 charge.

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