TCUPs bylaw draws a crowd 

Many questions still remain on the impact of the temporary use

click to enlarge Shackin' Up The fruits of temporary commercial use permits in Sestriere, Italy, during the 2006 Olympics
  • Shackin' Up The fruits of temporary commercial use permits in Sestriere, Italy, during the 2006 Olympics

The public is closely watching a blanket Olympic bylaw circulating through municipal hall.

More than 40 community members came out Tuesday to learn more about the proposed temporary commercial use permits (TCUPs) that could be used for everything from retail outlets to outhouses during the Games.

Sandy Black, owner of the largest group of independent rental shops in Whistler, Affinity Sports, came because he is worried about how temporary VANOC stores could impact his business.

One of the things he was most surprised about was that Municipal Hall staff do not seem to know how, exactly, VANOC will use the TCUPs.

“That puts all of us at a real disadvantage, because from a temporary use standpoint, they (the representatives) don’t know what types of temporary retail stores VANOC might want to request specifically,” said Black.

“They also do not know which stores or how many stores VANOC is going to want to sublet from existing retailers.”

He said that while he learned VANOC does not want to open as many stores as he originally though they did, he still wants to know how many “Olympic” stores he is going to have to compete with in the winter of 2010.

“The sooner VANOC announces which temporary stores they plan on opening and which sublet stores they plan on opening, the sooner the rest of us can start to plan what we are going to do for next season,” said Black.

“We are now having our (buying) cycle interrupted because they have not been able to provide us with the information to help us decide how we are going to adjust our businesses, which is really a problem.”

Black is not the only businessperson in town keeping a fierce eye on the sweeping Olympic bylaw.

Fiona Famulak, president of the Chamber of Commerce, said she encouraged all of the chamber’s board members to attend Tuesday’s meeting and make sure they are informed about what the bylaw means.

The chamber also plans to be present at the TCUP public hearing Monday, Dec. 15, 7 p.m., at MY Millennium Place.

“Most of the questions that came my way were with respect to retail operations in the village and food and beverage in the village,” said Jim Godfrey, executive director for the 2010 Games in Whistler, who stood by the entire evening alongside other staff from the municipality, VANOC, WHA, and Tourism Whistler.


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