Rainbow moving ahead slowly 

The Rainbow development continues to progress slowly, but housing will probably not be built on the site by fall 2008.

During a report to council last week Bob MacPherson, general manager of Community Life, said, “In terms of actual home construction, we have a house of cards that has to be dealt with before construction can start on houses.”

He added that certain “pieces” needed to be complete before the foundation is set and bricks are laid.

These needed items include finalizing a reservoir design, as well as designs for a sanitary sewer, an on-site sewer pump and a retaining wall.

“It is just practical, before the stick framing comes, there is a need for fire protection,” MacPherson said of needing to have infrastructure complete before construction can begin.

Legal documents should, however, be completed in the next six to eight weeks, and housekeeping bylaws will be brought to council in January.

He also told council that nothing is currently hindering construction of public roads in the subdivision or the highway intersection, since these aspects of the development have already been approved.

The update to council from municipal staff was given after Rainbow developers did not respond to a request from council to appear at a November meeting and provide an update on the project.

Instead, the developers wrote a letter that appeared in local newspapers Nov. 29 and provided an update, adding in the letter “we were told our attendance at last Monday’s council meeting was not required from a senior staff member.”


The name after the Games

Municipal officials are turning to the public to come up with a creative name for the athletes’ village neighbourhood.

Everyone is invited to submit name suggestions at www.whistlerdevelopmentcorp.ca. A short list will be compiled in January, and the public can then vote for their favourite name.

Council will make the final approval, and the official name will be announced in March.

To get more people voting, the municipality has thrown in an incentive. Those who submit name suggestions will be entered into a draw to win an annual family pass at Meadow Parks Sports Centre, valued at $980.

“Ideally the name will resonate with residents as well as reflect the neighbourhood vision, purpose and community values,” said the municipality’s Michele Comeau-Thompson during the Dec. 17 council meeting.

The decision to let the public get involved in the process was made after the board of the Whistler 2020 Development Corporation could not agree on a name.

“Giving this critical local emphasis is also a part of a larger goal of getting the public more involved in this project,” added Comeau-Thompson.

Construction is well underway on the 240-unit athletes’ village, which will become employee housing after the Olympics.


Coast Hotel won’t have balconies

A few minor alterations have been made on the Coast Hotel renovations, including getting rid of the balconies, relocating mechanical equipment and changing some landscaping.

None of these adjustments should affect the project’s green initiatives.

Council’s approval was needed to make the changes since the hotel is situated in the Whistler Village permit area.

Demolition work on Coast Hotel is underway, with construction slated for an August 2009 completion date. The hotel is planning to reopen in the fall of 2009.


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