VANOC eyes Holborn property for housing 

TCUP would be needed for temporary accommodation

Holborn confirmed this week they are in negotiations with VANOC to have part of their property near Whistler Village used for temporary housing during the Olympics.

"VANOC (the Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Games) has been in touch with me," verified Jimmy Yap of Holborn Holdings, a development company based in Vancouver.

Yap said VANOC and Holborn haven't finalized anything yet for the vacant property located near the Wild Wood restaurant and Whistler Racquet Club, but he added "it is the intent for us to do that."

Another developer, Alvaro Ponce de Leon, has already rented part the property from Holborn and plans to erect several buildings of temporary housing for employees of Whistler businesses to live in through the Olympic Games. At this point, there are no plans for VANOC employees to be housed inside Ponce de Leon's housing project.

Yap added he expects to hear back soon from Terry Wright, VANOC's executive vice president of service and Games operations, to finalize the deal.

When asked directly for comment about the Holborn site, VANOC said they would not be able to provide a spokesperson.

VANOC needs approximately 4,000 volunteers and hundreds of essential workers in the Sea to Sky corridor to put on the Games. Of that total, the organization hopes to place 1,000 volunteers in their Homestay program, a service that matches volunteers with rooms in private homes. Another option on the table is temporary housing.

In a separate interview on the Homestay program Maureen Douglas, VANOC's director of operations communications, said the organization is also investigating the possibility of putting cruise ships in Squamish to house the workforce, as well as partnering with an independent security camp in Pemberton.

"We feel there is some good work being done around the temporary accommodation possibilities," she said.

"Some ( of the volunteers ), depending on their role, may need to be in a different kind of temporary accommodation very, very close to a venue. Some of the alpine workers and some of the jobs to prep the racecourse happen in the wee hours of the morning so we are trying to keep them as close as we can to the venues."

Douglas added some of the VANOC volunteers will also be from the corridor and already have accommodation.

To use the Holborn site, VANOC would not have to go through a rezoning process, said Bob McPherson, general manager of community life for the municipality. Instead, they would have to apply for a temporary commercial use permit (TCUP). However, to date, VANOC has not applied for such a TCUP with the municipality.

- With files from Alison Taylor


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