Temporary housing approved in Pemberton 

McIvor Properties application could put 2,000 in Industrial Park

Sea to Sky has finally approved a temporary commercial use permit (TCUP)  - and Pemberton beat Whistler to the punch.

Village of Pemberton council approved a permit for McIvor Properties at its June 2 meeting that will house 2,000 workers, volunteers and security personnel in temporary accommodation in the Industrial Park for the period of the 2010 Winter Games.

The proposal, which was first submitted in March, expects to house the workers in ATCO trailers for a three-month period on a 6.83-hectare property that includes 19 vacant lots. The proponent expects to house between 750 and 2,000 beds for VANOC-related employees, volunteers or service providers, according to the proposal.

The accommodation will also include bedrooms and washrooms, as well as kitchen facilities, a recreation facility and offices.

The proponent has proposed a $20,000 contribution towards the Industrial Park that would go towards donating landscaping around its highway sign, as well as a fence to place a border between the trailers and the highway, as well as adjacent properties.

"It was supported in principle with a number of specific requests or concerns that need to be addressed," Pemberton Mayor Jordan Sturdy said in a Wednesday interview.

When the proposal came before the Squamish-Lillooet Regional District the board expressed some concern that having 2,000 people in an area bordered by properties residing in Area C could impact solid waste management in the region, especially the operation of the Pemberton Waste and Recycling Centre.

There were also some concerns about increased traffic and site-specific concerns around situating the accommodation in the park, but McIvor has already advised the district that there will be minimal impacts on surrounding residents.

Village Administrator Lori Pilon said the Industrial Park will accommodate a "dry camp," meaning no sales or service of alcohol and that nightly rentals will be prohibited.

She also said the developer will have to come back to the Village with an amenity package that will clarify whether the money can benefit the broader community, and not just the Industrial Park.

VOP opposes proposed Greyhound service cuts

Council also approved a recommendation to oppose Greyhound Canada's discontinuation of service between Coquitlam and Pemberton. The Village first received notice of Greyhound's intention on May 6 to discontinue the run due to low passenger numbers.

The company has filed an application with the B.C. Passenger Transportation Board (PTB) to eliminate the route and is now taking public comments on the move.

The regional district has already opposed the application and the Village of Pemberton supports that position, worried that a bus carrying commuters from Squamish to Whistler and Pemberton could be eliminated.

The Village is also worried that Pemberton area residents could be left without any public transit southbound to Whistler from 7 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. every day - impacting commuters who need the bus to get to work.

Sturdy said the Village is considering making a presentation to B.C.'s Motor Carrier Commission about the move because he's concerned about limiting passenger, commuter and parcel service to Pemberton.

Council also voted down a computer purchase policy from the 2009 Budget that allocates $5,000 to provide a laptop computer for each councillor. The Village claimed in a report to council that this is part of a "strategic goal" to be "more environmentally sustainable" by reducing the use of paper and copying materials.

Lori Pilon said that council instead made a resolution for giving each council member $1,000 in funding for either the purchase of a computer or to offset the cost of an existing one.

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