Residents speak out against park plans 

Alta Vista homeowners opposed to commercial boat operation at Lakeside

By Alison Taylor

Alta Vista residents are still not satisfied with the municipality’s plans for Lakeside Park.

Half a dozen residents spoke out at Monday’s public hearing on the rezoning, with a common theme in each of their submissions to council.

In short, they are concerned about the commercial boat activity planned for the park, and the resulting noise and disruption and traffic in their quiet subdivision. There have been commercial boat operations working out of the park since the early 1980s.

“You are not working to sustain our neighbourhood,” said resident Linda Seifred.

Chief among her concerns was the traffic through the neighbourhood. Though the municipality’s plan calls for the commercial operator to enter the subdivision at the southern entrance and park at the new parking lot on Hillcrest Drive, Seifred said they will most likely exit Alta Vista through the subdivision because there are no traffic lights on the highway to make a left hand turn back into the village.

Resident Robert Hungerford called on council to make Lakeside a park for locals and guests and not canoe operators.

“You don’t have to have commercial activity in every square inch of Whistler,” he said.

“I don’t think the consideration of the subdivision has been properly taken into account.”

Neighbouring resident Lawrence Keith who’s property abuts the expanded park boundaries, called on the municipality for compensation for any devaluation of his property as a result of the disturbance of his peaceful setting.

He also asked that the municipality build a six-foot berm along the property line to block noise.

Keith brought a slideshow to council with pictures showing how members of the public use his private dock in the summer.

Just one person spoke in favour of the proposed changes. Keenan Moses is a commercial operator and he was fully behind the municipality’s plans to rezone the park.

“I guess I’m being painted with a pretty mean brush,” said Moses who is applying to the municipality to run the commercial operations.

The rezoning will allow the municipality to move ahead with plans to expand Lakeside Park and provide the appropriate zoning for a long-standing watercraft rental from the park.

The RMOW proposal would see just one commercial operator using the park. The RFP to determine who that operator is has not yet been issued.

The plans are consistent with the municipality’s long-term vision for Lakeside, which sees the park as a major resort park.

In earlier surveys polls showed that just 25 per cent of Alta Vista residents supported commercial activity at Lakeside while more than 80 per cent of Whistler residents supported those operations.

Because there were several concerns expressed at the public hearing council did not move the project forward. Instead, staff is reviewing comments and will provide a report to council with recommendations.

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