Mons could become transportation hub 

Several transportation-related businesses in Whistler could move to the Mons area if a rezoning application going to council Monday is eventually approved.

Steve Bayly and Nigel Woods, co-owners of a 16-acre parcel across Highway 99 from Mons, are seeking rezoning that would allow Whistler Transit, Mainroad Contracting and Coastal Mountain Excavations to relocate to the site. The triangular-shaped piece of land, between the Rainbow Substation and the railroad, is currently zoned to allow for a single estate home. Three hydro lines traverse the site.

Bayly and Woods bought the property a year ago. They have cleaned it up, including removing 200 vehicles, and done environmental reviews of the site. Those studies found very little soil contamination. Moreover, runoff from the site goes into artificial ponds on the Nicklaus North Golf Course, rather than into fish-bearing streams.

The proponents own the properties in Function Junction that currently house Whistler Transit’s facilities. With the Whistler bus system expanding, including new hydrogen fuel cell buses and a hydrogen fuelling station coming, Whistler Transit is looking for larger facilities. Bayly says they could easily accommodate the expanded transit fleet and the fuelling station on the Mons site. As well, they are prepared to offer part of the site to the municipality for the transit facility at below-market prices.

A central location would also save Whistler Transit money, according to Bayly. He says a central location would have saved Whistler Transit $100,000 in “deadhead” costs (the cost of buses travelling to and from Function Junction before and after servicing their route) in 2001. Since fuel costs have increased in the last six years the savings would be greater today.

Mainroad Contracting, the company that clears the snow on Highway 99, currently stores most of its equipment in Pemberton. Having that equipment in Whistler would generally mean less travel time before plowing started.

Bayly and Woods believe Whistler’s industrial facilities should be concentrated in the two existing areas of Function Junction and Mons, rather than spread throughout the valley. The Mons site, which is well screened from the highway by trees and bushes, could also accommodate additional “back of house” community infrastructure such as a towing/impound yard, recycling depot, gas station, emergency vehicles or even temporary housing.

Access to the site is proposed to be via a highway underpass from Mons Road. This would mean all vehicles would enter the highway at the existing Spruce Grove intersection.

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