Rezoning concept for B.C. Rail lands supported 

After more than a year and a half of planning, a rezoning proposal for the 511-acre B.C. Rail lands on the west side of Alta Lake has finally made it to the public stage.

The property was subdivided into 24 lots of approximately 20 acres each and five smaller lots a couple of years ago. The proposal, by owners Duane Jackson and Bill Kunzweiler, is to rezone the property for 29 estate lots in, ranging in size from 1.5 to 20 acres. Another five lots which could be used to assist in achieving community benefits – employee housing or environmental initiatives – are also in the proposal.

The rezoning application offers significant improvements on the subdivision plan. The road accessing the site would be much less visible and the building sites on the rezoned lands would place the houses on the benches and least visible portions of the property.

A number of limits are included in the rezoning proposal. Building envelopes and landscape envelopes would be stipulated for each lot. More than 300 acres of the property would be preserved in its present state.

Houses would range in size from as small as 2,500 square feet to 7,500 square feet – plus an employee or caretaker suite of up to 1,200 square feet. However, the total square footage allowed on the whole property would be limited to 145,145 square feet, an average of 5,005 square feet per house.

It is also intended that green building initiatives be part of each house.

The rezoning proposal would create two parks. The upper-most portion of the property, totalling approximately 75 acres, including the land occupied by the Mid-Flank Trail and the proposed municipal water reservoir, would become park. As well, an area between Old Mill Lane and Alta Lake Road, next to Chaplinville, is currently zoned to allow the five smaller lots. That land would become a park under the rezoning.

The project was supported by the Advisory Planning Commission at its May meeting. On Tuesday, Whistler councillors all endorsed sending the project to public information meetings, which will be held in the next few weeks.

Councillor Kristi Wells had some concerns about the additional five community benefit lots – saying council had no policy or precedent for adding density in return for community benefits – but supported sending the project to public information meetings.

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