Larger shopping complex sought for Rainbow 

Proceed with caution. That was the message from Whistler council to the owners of the new shopping complex at Rainbow after they asked for an 8,000 square foot extension.

On Tuesday night, Rainbow Canuck Properties came before council asking to increase the size of their commercial area so that they can attract businesses in addition to a grocery store and a pharmacy.

Sam Brovender, co-owner of the Calgary-based company, explained on Tuesday night that he wants to bring in a grocery store the size of Nesters.

Together, such a grocery store and a pharmacy would take up 19,400 square feet of the 20,500 square feet the site is zoned for - leaving little room for things like a restaurant, bank, insurance agent, yoga studio or café.

Council was not convinced that such a large increase in space or services is necessary.

They voted unanimously to continue processing the application but most had concerns about making the Rainbow area into a new destination shopping space like Whistler Village or Creekside.

"It would not be advantageous for the proponent to think this is an endorsement of a 18,000 square foot grocery store," said Mayor Ken Melamed. "This is very contentious. I remember very clearly the intension was not to create a destination community. This was supposed to service the new neighbourhood only."

Councillor Chris Quinlan added that he wants to see wider consultation with the business community.

"I want to support this going forward but get as much information as we can," he said.

Right now, Rainbow Canuck Properties is zoned for a 20,500 square foot shopping complex.

The company also owns the Rainbow gas station and received a 1,300 square foot expansion for that site two weeks ago.


Highway 99 paving delayed till September

Drivers will have to wait one more month before they see a new coat of asphalt between Function Junction and Whistler Village.

This week, the municipality confirmed that the province has pushed back the paving project and may not begin unit September.

The tender to repave Highway 99 closes on Aug. 6 and the contact should be awarded the next day, said a spokesperson for the municipality.

Earlier this summer, the municipality's general manager of environmental services, Harry Kim, said construction work was schedule to begin in July. He said this week, though, the original start date was towards the end of August.

Once started, work will take place at night, starting after 9 p.m. and continuing until the morning hours.

The project should take six to eight weeks.


Whistler modernizes wildfire plan

As forest fires burn rage throughout the province, Whistler is revising its Community Wildfire Protection Plan.

Cheakamus Crossing, Stonebridge and Rainbow will be rolled into the plan that helps Whistler Fire Rescue services fight fires in the resort municipality.

"In the event of a fire, it give us defendable areas," said Fire Chief Rob Whitton. "If we do have a fire moving through an area, we have a space where we can mount defense to actively start fighting a fire and hopefully stop its spread."

The last plan was created in 2005.



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