greenside 

In January, 1990 Greenside Properties submitted a rezoning application for the Whistler Kampground lands, in response to the municipality’s call for employee housing proposals. On Tuesday, after listening to council prepare another call for employee housing proposals and then put his latest plan for the Kampground lands on hold until Monday, David Ehrhardt of Greenside was exasperated. "I don’t know, we’ll have to make a decision tomorrow," he said when asked whether Greenside would continue to work on the project this fall. By Wednesday Ehrhardt had decided he could delay a decision until after council’s regular meeting this Monday, Oct. 7. But after six years of trying to tailor his project to meet the needs of the municipality, fighting law suits keeping the campground open all summer and now racing to get services completed before the snow falls he is clearly running out of patience. The Greenside proposal to council on Tuesday includes 69 market value lots, which would be offered exclusively to Whistler residents for the first 30 days of sales, the sale of a parcel to the municipality for the development of approximately 62 employee townhouses, dedication of land for the Spruce Grove Park and provision of Crown land for a public elementary school. Ehrhardt says the new proposal is based on recommendations and negotiations Greenside has been having with municipal staff. He says it is not significantly different from the one which was the subject of a public hearing in 1993 and currently sits at third reading, except that it involves a public school instead of a private school. But it also involves the municipality buying the land for employee housing and finding a builder for that part of the project. "The previous plan was we would sell the employee lots directly to the employees," Ehrhardt said. "On this plan we would sell the land to the municipality, but the numbers (of market lots and square footage of employee housing) are basically the same." If the new proposal, which is being refined and will come back to council on Monday, is accepted it would have to go through the whole rezoning process again, including a public hearing. Council defeated a resolution that would see staff treat the rezoning application as a priority item and prepare zoning amendment bylaws, largely because they only received the staff report Tuesday. Councillor Max Kirkpatrick voted in favour of the resolution, telling council "I think we’re very remiss to delay this at all." Councillor Bill Murray said that council wasn’t being asked to approve anything Tuesday that would affect the developer’s plans for underground installations, but Ehrhardt was clearly looking for some guidance. "In the last 90 days the form of the project has changed more times than I change channels watching TV on a Saturday night," Ehrhardt told council. "We have to narrow it down and say this is the horse we’re going to ride," he added later. "We just want them to say which proposal they want." Councillor Hugh O’Reilly is concerned about two aspects of the new proposal: the municipality is required to buy the employee housing parcel and the single family lots will not be affordable in the long term. The lots are smaller than usual and will permit houses up to about 2,000 square feet. While the smaller size is expected to make the lots less expensive than other lots in the Whistler market, there are no restrictions which will keep future resale prices below market value. The lots are intended to be offered to Whistler residents first. "It’s a different beast from what we started with," O’Reilly said.

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