Pemberton could house 2,000 Olympic workers 

Cam McIvor waiting for word on TCUP application for industrial park


The Village of Pemberton's (VOP) Industrial Park could house 2,000 people during the 2010 Winter Olympics, if council approves a temporary commercial use permit (TCUP) application.

The application, by Pemberton developer Cam McIvor, asks for a TCUP that will allow up to 2,000 volunteers, workers and security personnel involved with the Games to set up temporary accommodation in the park on a 6.83-hectare property that includes 19 vacant lots.

McIvor, who runs his own company McIvor Properties Inc., applied for the TCUP in March and said the accommodations would be there for an approximately "three-month window," from January to March of 2010.

"The project isn't confirmed 100 per cent yet," McIvor said in an interview. "We are working with a private security company for part of the housing and with VANOC for their workforce accommodation."

The application was included in the agenda package for the May 25 meeting of the Squamish-Lillooet Regional District and included various comments that the board wished to offer before the application was approved.

While the project is consistent with Pemberton's Official Community Plan, the SLRD believes that having up to 2,000 people in an area bordered by Area C properties could impact solid waste management within the region, particularly the operation of the Pemberton Waste and Recycling Centre.

The SLRD said in a referral that the issue would be best addressed in consultation with its Utilities and Environmental Services department because the current waste management system isn't designed to accommodate this many temporary residents.

The SLRD is thus advising the Village of Pemberton that it's supportive of the application so long as the VOP addresses waste management concerns, as well as increased traffic and site-specific concerns that may be raised by property owners living behind adjacent Area C boundaries.

The applicant, meanwhile, has advised the SLRD that there will be minimal impacts on surrounding residents because guests will be working long hours and likely using the accommodation for eating and sleeping only.

McIvor told Pique that the accommodation facilities are likely to resemble typical labour camps that might be found in a mining operation or oil fields. He has yet to figure out how much it will cost to put up the accommodation but said the workforce accommodation will be paid for by VANOC, if the project comes to fruition.

Besides VANOC, McIvor said he's working with Contemporary Security Canada, a company that's been selected by Public Works and Government Services Canada and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police to take on security screening services during the Games.

As it stands, VOP staff are currently reviewing the TCUP and McIvor expects to see it come to council within the net few weeks. He said the site is well suited for such accommodation because it's already been outfitted with the requisite services it would need to support people living there, including water and sewer services.

"It's already been fully serviced," he said. "(It's) all been paid for by private sector dollars when we developed the park. All the servicing is in place.

"It's not going to impact anyone from a neighbourhood perspective or interfere with anyone's daily life."

Caroline Lamont, the VOP's manager of development services, told Pique that a report on the application will go before council on Tuesday. Council will have the option of approving the application then.

She added that the TCUP will allow the accommodation to go up starting Sept. 1 but it would have to be cleared out by July 1, 2010.

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