Alta Vista residents opposed to 

RMOW, neighbourhood visions for Lakeside Park hinge on commercial tour operators

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“I think that those things really came clear to us after this summer, which was very strong from a visitor perspective. The good news is that summer is alive and well in Whistler, but that creates a lot of pressure on all parks and Lakeside probably felt a fair share of that pressure — and the neighbourhood, which is what we’re trying to resolve.”

After the latest round of feedback, Murdoch says the next stage will be to update the draft Master Plan and present it to council for their input. He recognizes that some residents are against the commercial concession, but otherwise says that most proposed changes to the area have been well received.

Councillor Nancy-Wilhelm Morden says the RMOW is aware of the objection to the commercial concession, but says few parks in Whistler can offer better access. She also believes the traffic problems with the last concession to operate in the park are being resolved by channeling traffic to Lakeside via the highway.

“We still have some work to do with the concession, that’s clear, but hopefully we will come up with a good plan that everybody will like,” she said. “There is obviously a dichotomy in opinion as to how the park should be used. Some people in the neighbourhood look at it as a neighbourhood park, but it’s not and was never meant to be. It’s for the community as a whole and for tourists. It’s always been an access point to the water, and it’s the closest park for people staying in the village.”

Moving the project ahead so construction can get underway this winter for completion in the summer is also a priority for the RMOW.

“The bigger we make our parks, the happier people are going to be,” she said. “If you go by any of the (Alta Lake) parks on a Saturday or Sunday in the summer they’re just jammed, and this summer it was busier than a lot of people have ever seen it. So anything we can do to open any park up even a little more is going to help improve that experience.”

The RMOW is already expanding Alpha Lake Park in Creekside after acquiring more waterfront land from a neighbour.

The park options and next survey will be posted online at www.whistler.ca/Community/Parks_Trails/Lakeside_Park.php.

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