Council briefs 

RMOW says 'no' to Cheakamus North

Ten years after the application was first filed, Tim Regan and municipal staff are still at the negotiating table discussing his plans to build a series of large houses near Spring Creek.

Regan hoped the Cheakamus North proposal would finally go through this week at Tuesday's public meeting, but council was not impressed with the latest deal.

In a 5-2 vote, councillors sent the application back to staff to negotiate harder with Regan and his Vision West Development Ltd.

"I am certainly disappointed to see this come back in this format," said Mayor Ken Melamed. "This doesn't even reflect close to what council wanted to see. I can't support a rezoning application based on this application."

According to Regan, the municipality wasn't able to uphold the original deal negotiated years ago. That deal, which made it to third reading, involved Regan developing three lots and giving parkland to a land conservatory for a tax credit.

Now, Regan just wants to find a win-win solution so he can move forward.

"I am obviously disappointed it didn't go through," Regan said Wednesday morning. "The proposal that went forward was negotiated between me and staff, and obviously staff hadn't quite gauged what council was looking for."

The latest proposed deal would have allowed Regan to build houses on five lots with auxiliary residential units, similar to those at Stonebridge. The total possible gross floor area for parcels would be between 575 square metres and 615 square metres, compared to the current zoning allowance of 465 square metres.

Regan would also have had to contribute $400,000 towards the construction of the multi-million road that leads to the Cheakamus North.

Alpine Paving hired for highway repaving

The provincial government announced last week that Alpine Paving will provide the asphalt for the Highway 99 repaving.

The company that operates the contentious asphalt plant near Cheakamus Crossing will supply materials for the paving that will start Monday and continue until early October. Work includes repaving the highway between Function Junction and Lorimer Road.

In response to the announcement, the Resort Municipality of Whistler is working with Alpine Paving to limit work near the new Cheakamus Crossing neighbourhood, said Mayor Ken Melamed during his mayor's report at Tuesday's public council meeting.

The municipality has asked Alpine Paving to minimize the use of back-beepers on trucks and prevent any crushing from taking place during night hours, among other things.

"As with all capital projects, we thank those who live near the area for their patience and co-operation," said Melamed.

Cheakamus Crossing District Energy System

Residents living in the new Cheakamus Crossing neighbourhood can expect to pay about $640 a year on energy costs, thanks to the neighbourhood's District Energy System.

That's about 80 per cent of what they would pay on a conventional electrical heating system, said Joe Paul, manager of development services for the municipality.

The figure - based on an average home size of 136 square metres - allows the municipality to cover operating costs as well as build a reserve fund to pay for half the replacement costs in 50 years.

Energy bills might go down further if more homes are added to the new neighbourhood, Paul said.

After listening to Paul's presentation at the public council meeting, Mayor Ken Melamed said he would like a greater reserve fund to be built up in 50 years.

"I am nervous about the 50 per cent cost recovery," said the mayor. "I hope we will do some more evaluation on that. We don't want there to be cost surprises down the road."

The mayor suggested that the municipality should consider raising the rates in the future to make sure there is enough money to replace the system down the road.

The District Energy System is a thermal heat exchange that sees piped water heated by the sewage system.



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