Development underway on Whistler’s fringe 

RMOW waits to hear if the Wedge land is included in its boundary expansion

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"If we wanted more growth we would provide it. We’ve obviously, as a community, said we don’t so it’s pretty obvious that we’re not interested in it, especially right on our fringe."

Whistler lodged its concerns about the project at the regional district. Then, in March 2004 Whistler submitted an application to the province for a large boundary expansion. Part of the expansion includes this swath of land to the north.

The province has not approved Whistler’s boundary expansion and it is not clear what would happen to the future of the Green River Country Estates if it were to come within Whistler’s boundaries.

Waltmann said the boundary expansion application is still in the province’s hands. It has been there since March.

"They’re not forthcoming with any information on when or if or if not (the boundary expansion will be approved)," she said. "Their initial excuse for the delay was the (provincial) election, but that’s long over."

There were many reasons for Whistler’s boundary expansion, all of which involve protecting the success of the resort community in the long-term. O’Reilly said this development compromises Whistler’s success.

"We’re pretty strong that we don’t think that it’s in the best interest in the long-term success of the resort, and the other communities (in the corridor) should be aware that our long-term success has impact on their success because we’re all tied together so closely."

If the land were within Whistler’s boundaries the project would not have passed, he added.

"We wouldn’t have approved it," said O’Reilly.

If it does become part of the resort municipality however, O’Reilly said the RMOW would attempt to impose municipal standards at the very least.

"One of the things we would definitely be doing is putting our standards on it as far as water and sewer and that kind of thing," he said. "I think that’s a bridge we have to cross when we get there."

The threat of Whistler stopping the project if it gets its boundary expansion, however, is at the back of the developer’s mind, even as the project moves ahead.

"They could downzone it," said Ehrhardt.

He said there was some irony to that scenario, particularly as two years ago Whistler’s SLRD representative approved a bylaw that allowed certain tracts of land in Area C to have multiple homes on individual parcels. One of those pieces of land included the Green River Estates.

O’Reilly explained that vote in favour of this bylaw was an oversight.

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