Council preview for Tuesday, March 12 

First look: OCP second reading, Parks Master Plan, 2019 budget guidelines on the agenda

click to enlarge FILE PHOTO BY BRADEN DUPUIS
  • File photo by Braden Dupuis

Here's a quick look at what to expect at Tuesday's council meeting, kicking off at 5:30 p.m. at the Maury Young Arts Centre.

OFFICIAL COMMUNITY PLAN

Whistler's Official Community Plan (OCP) bylaw will come back to council for second reading on March 12.

The revised OCP bylaw addresses comments from the Lil'wat Nation and Mountain Resorts Branch, and includes minor policy revisions, updated definitions and other "housekeeping edits" (read more in the March 12 council package starting on page 263: www.whistler.ca/municipal-gov/council/meeting-agendas-and-minutes).

Following second reading, the OCP bylaw will be referred to the Squamish-Lillooet Regional District, the Squamish and Lil'wat nations and School Districts 48 and 93.

An official public hearing—in which all members of the public may speak for or against the OCP—will follow (date to be determined).

When the OCP bylaw came to Whistler's previous council for first reading on Oct. 2, former Councillor Sue Maxwell was the only dissenting vote.

"I think this document's a really good beginning, but I hope the next council will really go through it with an eye to making changes that reflect the feedback," she said at the time.

"We really need to make sure that the next council has the opportunity to make changes, so I will not be supporting this." (read more at www.piquenewsmagazine.com/whistler/ocp-bylaw-gets-first-reading/Content?oid=10972397).

The full document can be found at www.whistler.ca/ocp.

PARKS MASTER PLAN UPDATE

Whistler's Parks Master Plan is shifting into Phase 2.

At its March 12 meeting, council will receive an update on the project from parks planner Annie Oja.

Phase 1 of the project included a public engagement campaign, engineering park surveys and base mapping, staff interviews, a neighbourhood parks and natural areas inventory analysis and a major parks asset inventory and conditions assessment (read more at www.piquenewsmagazine.com/whistler/open-house-held-for-parks-master-plan/Content?oid=12396758).

"Our parks master plan is seeking to create an inventory of our current amenities at each of Whistler's parks, and prioritize what improvements are desired for the future, and develop a series of designs for those improvements," Oja told the Committee of the Whole on Dec. 4.

"Our resident and visitor population is growing, visitation in our parks in the summer months has grown significantly over the last number of years, particularly our waterfront parks, and this has been placing pressure on our park infrastructure and maintenance, as well as contributing to some capacity issues."

Phase 2 will undertake a "critical evaluation of existing park programming," and develop alternative options, according to a report to council.

"This task will explore the potential and feasibility to reallocate, relocate, add or delete park elements," the report states.

"This will be completed on a park-by-park basis but in the context of the entire system, including underutilized and new spaces, an will include community and stakeholder engagement."

2019 BUDGET GUIDELINES

Council will also contemplate its 2019 tax bylaws at the March 12 meeting, before voting to direct staff to prepare the Five-Year Financial Plan Bylaw for 2019-2023.

On the table are a 2.9-per-cent tax increase, two-per-cent increases to sewer parcel and water fees, and a 3.6-per-cent increase to solid waste user fees.

Sticking with the budget, council will also vote to award contracts for two big-ticket infrastructure projects at the March 12 meeting: the White Gold water main project ($1.9 million) and waterproofing of the Conference Centre parking structure ($1.7 million).

Read more about the 2019 budget here: www.piquenewsmagazine.com/whistler/budget-proposes-29-property-tax-increase/Content?oid=13017441

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