Council asks Rainbow developers for explanation 

The developers of the Rainbow subdivision have been asked to appear before council at its next public meeting to explain what is happening with the employee housing development.

Council gave the long-anticipated project final approval in June but there has been little progress on the site since then, despite significant land clearing happening before June.

“I, for one, would like to hear from the developers of Rainbow as to what is happening,” said Councillor Ralph Forsyth.

He said it would give them the chance to dispel some of the rumours swirling around Whistler that the joint venture partners are trying to sell the project.

When contacted early Wednesday Rainbow’s project manager, Bill Hayes, had just returned from vacation and was waiting to get an update from the project’s partners.

“I have no reason to believe it’s not on track,” he said.

Council’s skepticism about the project was apparent when Councillor Eckhard Zeidler held aloft a full-page ad for Rainbow’s market housing in this year’s Whistler-Blackcomb magazine.

As he praised Eric Martin, chair of the Whistler 2020 Development Corporation, for the work accomplished to date on the athletes’ village/employee housing project, Zeidler did not mask his disappointment about Rainbow.

“Thank you for building us a project on time, under budget, that will actually exist,” he told Martin.

Hayes, however, maintained this week that Rainbow’s financing is falling into place and the final engineering drawings are complete.

They also have final subdivision approval for one of the last lots on the property, an issue Hayes previously said was holding them back.

When asked why no obvious work has been happening on site, Hayes said they were waiting for all the pieces to fall into place.

“I think it’s just been taking the time to get those pieces in place,” he said.

“We’re getting those pieces into place and doing it in what I think is an orderly manner. There’s nothing else to it. We have most of the approvals in hand that we need at this point.”

And when asked what the timeline is for people on the waitlist to move into the first homes at Rainbow, he said: “I don’t want to answer that today.”

Hayes said he had received an e-mail from municipal staff asking them to appear at the next council meeting on Monday, Nov. 19 at 6:30 p.m.

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