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Pique to the Past: What's with that weird stop sign in Function Junction?

A look at what was making headlines in Whistler 10 years ago, during the week of May 29, 2013.

Here's a look at what was making headlines in Whistler 10 years ago, during the week of May 29, 2013.

RMOW ordered to remove stop sign in Function Junction 

If you’ve ever questioned how the odd, three-way stop at the four-way intersection in Function Junction came to be, well—here is the riveting story.

At the end of May, a decade ago, the Resort Municipality of Whistler (RMOW) was forced to remove a recently installed stop sign at the Alpha Lake Road and Miller Creek Road intersection by order of Transport Canada.

The municipality installed the four-way stop to help improve pedestrian safety at the intersection, but the stop sign resulted in the traffic entering Function Junction backing up on the nearby railway. 

Across the board, improvements to the southern Whistler neighbourhood were in the work plan for 2014, according to then-Mayor Nancy Wilhelm-Morden. 

“We are looking at Function Junction as a whole, it’s been on our work plan for several years, but it didn’t get to the top of the pile because other work that was being done for the Games and then the OCP plan,” Wilhelm-Morden said at the time. “Our OCP is finished, and some of our other big plans that have been underway will be finished this year, so that will allow us to look at Function Junction.”

But the southerly neighbourhood would continue to go neglected until 2017, when outcry from businesses and residents finally forced the municipality to take serious steps to address safety issues in Function Junction.

The more things change...

A proposal that would allow an additional secondary suite per lot in the WedgeWoods development, located 15 minutes north of Whistler Village, was rejected by the Squamish-Lillooet Regional District (SLRD) board. 

The change would have allowed owners to build a suite in their primary residence and accessory buildings like garages. The board cited issues with the increased density in the development and approved an amended motion that allowed suites on the lots, but only in primary residences. 

The Village of Pemberton’s then-SLRD representative Ted Craddock voiced opposition to additional suites in the development. “Adding a few hundred units just down the road is not something we look forward to,” Craddock said at the time. “I think it is bad planning; I don’t think it is necessary.”

Ten years later, the SLRD is currently debating bylaw changes that would allow additional dwelling units on the lots in WedgeWoods in auxiliary units, such as carriage homes and suites in the primary residences. 

Whistler Minor Hockey Association endorses body-checking ban

Hockey Canada voted to remove body checking from all levels of peewee hockey (11- and 12-year-olds); the decision was controversial at the time, and resulted in heavy criticism from a significant chunk of the general public—as well as from then-Coach’s Corner host Don Cherry, who said the organization “will be sorry” for the change. 

Whistler Minor Hockey Association then-president Steve Legge said the local body’s board of directors was unanimous in its decision to support the removal of body checking from all levels of peewee hockey.

Whistler Arts Council marks stellar year with increased revenue, cultural plan

The Whistler Arts Council (WAC), now known as Arts Whistler, ended a successful year of arts and culture in Whistler, bringing in approximately $1.68 million in revenue for the 2012 season. WAC's accomplishments included developing a comprehensive, long-term community cultural plan, developing Millennium Place into a better hub for arts and culture, and increasing the number of sponsors of the organization. 

“I continue to be very proud of the quality of festivals, events and programs that WAC offers," then WAC chair Joan Richoz said at the time. “These are all very complex and different types of programs that focus on completely different art forms,” she said. “I don’t know many arts councils that actually take such a complexity of different types of programs and deliver them at such a high quality.”

Tourism Whistler reports the second-busiest winter season in the resort's history 

Tourism Whistler reported at its annual general meeting that the 2011-2012 season was the second busiest on record in terms of visitation and overnight stays, only one per cent behind the record-setting 2010 Olympic Winter Games year—and still 10 per cent above the 10-year average. 

“Given the extraordinary results of the 2011-2012 season, the fact that we were able to maintain our business at those levels is really a strong result,” said then-Tourism Whistler vice president of marketing strategy Louise Walker. “The resort remains competitive, offering our guests excellent value for money.”

Taicheng pushes for more density changes to Minaty Bay

An amendment to the SLRD’s Official Community Plan (OCP) was brought before the regional district’s board to increase the density of the proposed Taicheng subdivision at Minaty Bay in Britannia Beach South. If approved, the OCP change would allow the developers to build up to 3,000 units in the proposed development. 

The Minaty Bay project would have seen the creation of a hotel on a bluff and housing near the ocean, and reserve a significant amount of the waterfront for parks and a waterpark, with the entire development having between 2,500-3,000 homes. 

The SLRD board voted to send the matter on the proposed change to the Committee of the Whole (COW) for further discussion. 

Then-Area D Director Moe Freitag opposed the project outright because it was not integrated with the existing community in Britannia Beach. “The way Minaty Bay is currently proposed does not work for our community,” Freitag said at the time. “This is our community—we want integration; we don’t want two distinct communities.”

The Taicheng Development Corp., now Tiger Bay Development Corp., is still at it, most recently proposing a massive new community which includes a large surf park.