creekside 

Lake Placid Road will be re-paved, light standards will be installed and a pedestrian walkway will be built on the south side of Lake Placid between Highway 99 and the Lake Placid Lodge next year. That was the commitment Mayor Ted Nebbeling and four councillors made at an open house on the Whistler Creek area last Saturday. Nebbeling estimates the work will cost between $150,000 and $200,000, and there may be enough money to re-pave other streets in the Creekside area. The commitment came after several people at the open house accused the municipality of neglecting Whistler Creek and demanded some action from council. The cost of the improvements will eventually be recouped through development charges on building upgrades in the area. A 1990 study of the area recommended Lake Placid Drive be redeveloped as a commercial corridor, with small bed and breakfasts, bistros, cafes and office space. Existing buildings are to be integrated into the redevelopment. Support for the general concept was given after Nebbeling asked for a show of hands. The municipality has received a couple of rezoning applications for the area, from Hoz's Cafe & Pub and the Backpackers Hostel. Both applicants have complained about the lack of action by municipal hall on their applications. The meeting was called in response to Whistler Creek residents' frustration over the long-awaited but so-far non-existent redevelopment of the area. On one side is Whistler Mountain, which has plans to redevelop its base but first must commit $4 million to the re-alignment of Whistler Creek. On the other side is BC Rail, which has not seen the need to upgrade its train station, and developer John Taylor, who has a large area of land and is willing to work with the railway, but no development rights. Whistler Mountain President Doug Forseth told people that with the cost of the creek re-alignment the lift company needs density on its site. However, it also needs considerable parking for skiers. That means underground parking is required and that is expensive. "As soon as we find something that's going to work we'll share it with you," Forseth said. The province does not provide money for flood control or creek re-alignment until after a creek has flooded. Taylor, meanwhile, said he would like to develop a project on his land but the municipality won't give him any bed units. "We are prepared to make these lands available, but you won't make the bed units available," he told Nebbeling. The municipality has set a ceiling on development, under the Official Community Plan, and all bed units have been allocated.

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