housing proposals 

Details on some of the 12 proposals the municipality received under its call for affordable housing projects are coming to light. Whistler South, a proposal by Vancouver-based International Land Corporation Ltd. and the local N.S.W. Holdings Ltd. is believed to be the largest proposal received. The proposal, on 40 acres of Crown land available to Whistler Mountain Ski Corporation through the provincial ski area policy, has the potential for 114 single family lots and 156 townhouses. The proposal has the backing of Whistler Mountain Ski Corporation. The site is south of Millar’s Pond and east and south of another affordable housing proposal, Cheakamus North. Nigel Woods, one of the proponents of Whistler South, says the concept is to build the project in three phases. The plan includes an area identified for a second recreation centre or an elementary school, a day care/commercial area, parks and public space. The density of the single family lots is about 5.5 per acre and the townhouses would be about 15 per acre. Woods says there is also potential for Whistler Mountain to move some of its market bed units onto the site. "The concept is to mix short-term rentals with permanent residents," Woods says. The developers envision themselves building most of the single family houses on site. Most of the single family houses would include suites and there could be suites in some of the townhouse units, too. "It’s a three-four year project. It’s a large site with an opportunity to do a good job; you’ve got fairly sophisticated developers and a major land owner behind it," Woods notes. The site itself is a shallow, flat-bottomed bowl which sits above the highway. A preliminary environmental analysis shows a couple of small wetland areas, which the developers are proposing to protect. Woods says the site has been clearcut in the past. International Land Corporation has built a number of projects in Whistler, including Whiski Jack, Rim Rock, Northern Lights and recently joined forces with Burrard International to finish Nicklaus North. Another proposal submitted under the housing call is strictly for rental. The Nita Lake Lodge proposal is a 140-room dormitory style building on the 4.2 acres at Nita Lake. The proponent is Andrew Crosse, who in 1995 submitted an application to build nine log cabins on the property between the Alpine 68 condominiums and the original Alpine Village condos. That application was turned down after a mapping error was discovered and council returned the zoning to RR1. Crosse has taken another option on the property for his Nita Lake Lodge proposal. This proposal is a four-storey, wood-frame building of about 36,000 square feet, modelled after similar projects in Banff and Aspen. Crosse says the project can be delivered by next November if he is allowed to get into the ground by March. The dormitory-style building would have two beds in each of the 140 rooms which he would rent to local businesses, who would in turn rent them to their employees for between $300 and $350 per month. Each room would have a kitchenette and be about 240 square feet. Crosse is proposing a common room and washroom facilities on each floor. The building would also include a weight room, a library and an office/internet room. The plan calls for only 16 parking stalls because a shuttle bus would be included with the lodge. It is also located right on the Valley Trail. "The building will be right on the lake, but it won’t block the neighbours’ views," Crosse says. A small amphitheatre on the lake is also included in the plans. Crosse says the project will cost about $6.5 million. He expects 75 per cent funding through CMHC and 15 per cent equity from the municipal housing fund. Other proposals received under the municipality’s affordable housing call include: o up to 40 single family lots on 14 acres immediately north of the old Rainbow ski site o a proposal for the Rainbow site o the Cheakamus North proposal for 240 townhouses o the 19 Mile Creek proposal for 150 townhouses There were six other proposals received under the affordable housing call, all vying for some of the 1,700 bed units the municipality has allocated for affordable and employee housing. As the Cheakamus North proposal and the Whistler South proposal each require more than 1,000 bed units in their current configuration they can’t possibly all be approved. As well, some developers are planning to build employee housing within their projects, which will reduce the pool of 1,700 bed units available. A public information meeting where all 12 proposals will be presented is expected in the next few weeks.


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