Whistler Stables gone but confusion as to why
By Oona Woods
The removal of a long-time local trail-riding business from the corral at Mons has left a dust of confusion in its wake. On Monday, Oct. 18 Whistler Stables began packing up its belongings and shipping horses north to Lillooet, after 17 years in business in this town.
By Wednesday they were gone.
With only a few days notice the developers of the proposed Riverside Campground, who leased land to the stables and declared they had always had a happy relationship, told them to leave.
However, one of the campground developers says the municipality directed them to remove the stables in order to smooth out the process of obtaining their final go ahead for building the campground.
"The muni has requested, as a condition of zoning, that the stables leave the property," says Doug O’Mara.
"We want the stables to stay. As owners of the campground we would prefer to keep that amenity. We would prefer to see them stay in operation."
Both the stables and the proposed campground are on land owned by Copac Enterprises. The stables had an agreement with the Resort Municipality of Whistler that as long as they were in the area the horses would have access to Lost Lake Park.
Councillor Nancy Wilhelm Morden expressed doubt that the municipality would have made removal of the stables a condition of zoning.
"What I can share," says Wilhelm Morden, "is that we have been very concerned at the council table at the lack of movement on the campground. It has stalled out at third reading. What I mean is that they got the third reading but they haven’t got the final adoption because there are conditions left to be met. Submissions of drawings, payment of various fees and that sort of thing."
Wilhelm Morden says keeping the stables was never mentioned as part of the plan.
"Ultimately the stables would have to relocate for the campground because the plans show a swimming pool and staff housing in that area. But it is not part of the proposal to give the stables the boot right now, as far as I’m concerned. Unless my poor little pea-like brain is forgetting something, that didn’t even come up."
At municipal hall, Planning Director Mike Purcell says there have been no deals made over the horses.
"I can tell you it is not a condition of zoning," Purcell says adamantly. "What I’m trying to determine is whether maybe it was discussed. I’ve spoken to the head of Parks and Recreation and he says that it hasn’t been proposed through them."
The municipal planner who has dealt with the campground proposal was away sick this week.
Meanwhile, Whistler Stables are no more.