Alta Vista residents speak out again for local park 

Second public hearing on Lakeside Park draws fewer opponents

Five residents asked the municipality to reconsider rezoning Lakeside Park at a second public hearing on Monday.

"We have too many questions that haven't been answered," said Alta Vista neighbour Linda Seifred, who said she has been asking questions about the future of the park for four years.

The municipality is proposing to consolidate two lots, which would make the park bigger. It will also be rezoned LP1 (leisure park 1), which is consistent with other major parks in Whistler, such as Rainbow Park and Lost Lake Park.

"We have a minor, minor park," said Seifred.

Nearby residents maintain Lakeside is just a small neighbourhood park. They are concerned about increasing commercialism from boat renters and canoe renters. They are also worried about safety on the neighbourhood streets as traffic to the park increases.

Master planning for the park is to take place this summer.

Eight residents spoke in opposition of the rezoning at the first public hearing in March.

A second public hearing was called after a resident submitted a petition with roughly 150 signatures on it from people opposed to the rezoning. The petition was submitted after the first public hearing. Council cannot receive any written or verbal representations from the public once a public hearing is declared closed.

Only five residents spoke out at Monday's second hearing.

Council will most likely consider the rezoning at the next council meeting on May 2.

Whistler wants Mountain Highway designation for 99

Council is asking the provincial government to declare a section of the Sea to Sky Highway a "mountain highway."

Under this designation all vehicles travelling on the stretch of road north of Squamish to south of Lillooet would need appropriate winter tread tires or chains in times of high snowfall probability.

This designation will give the RCMP more authority to ensure proper tires are being used on the road, which in turn will reduce accidents and traffic problems.

The current highway designation and motor vehicle regulations do not help the RCMP in turning away poorly equipped vehicles.

Council unanimously endorsed the recommendation from Brian Barnett, general manager of engineering and public works, at Monday's council meeting.

Council will now ask the Lower Mainland Municipal Association and the Squamish-Lillooet Regional District to endorse the mountain highway designation.

Whistler will then ask the Ministry of Transportation to consider the request. This will likely take some time as it requires a legislative change to the Transportation Act.

Barnett said there may be interim measures that could be taken in the meantime.

New solution for election ties

In the event of a tie in November's municipal election, there will not be a runoff election this year.

Instead, the results will be determined by lot.

Council considered the 2005 elections bylaw at Monday's meeting.

Among other things, the bylaw sets the dates, locations and times for voting opportunities in the municipal election. The election will be held on Saturday, Nov. 19, with advance voting in Whistler and West Vancouver in the weeks prior to election day.

The bylaw has been revamped to include the tiebreaker resolution. In the 2002 municipal election newcomer Marianne Wade and Councillor Dave Kirk tied for the sixth and final councillor position with 1,057 votes each.

There was a judicial recount followed by a runoff election which ultimately saw Wade win. But that meant Whistler did not have a full council until weeks after the election.

Drawing by lot in event of a tie will circumvent that long process.

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