VANOC needs more parking for Games 

TCUPs for Function and Mons Road lands could address parking shortfall

Before it is developed for a gas station, First Nations could rent their Function Junction land to Olympic organizers as a temporary parking lot.

That would dash the plans to have a second gas station in Whistler up and running by Games time but it will provide First Nations with some revenue and other benefits while they work to develop the land.

The five-acre site, between the highway and the railway tracks on the south-east side of Function Junction, will be cleared, with respect to all the necessary setbacks, and laid with crushed gravel if the Temporary Commercial Use Permit (TCUP) is approved.

"They're doing all the clearing so it'll be site ready for whatever we do (in the future)," confirmed Squamish Nation Chief Gibby Jacob.

"It'll be done to a standard we've agreed to so that will be a positive thing for us."

In addition, added Jacob, Olympic organizers will be paying rent to use the land.

While the Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Games (VANOC) would not confirm just how much parking it needs in Whistler during the Games, Dick Vollet, vice president of mountain venue operations, said of the Function TCUP: "There is limited vehicle parking available inside the Olympic and Paralympic Village, so additional parking is required to accommodate the vehicles associated with Olympic Village operations."

The athletes' village is within walking distance of Function Junction.

The Resort Municipality of Whistler advertised the application for the Function TCUP in the paper last week.

It is one of two such applications addressing Olympic parking.

The other TCUP application is for the Mons Road land close to Nicklaus North. That permit is to allow parking and maintenance facilities for cars, trucks, buses, and snow clearing equipment as well as an impound lot and place to store shipping containers.

While VANOC confirmed it submitted the application for the Function land, it would not confirm or deny that it is in negotiations for the Mons area to use as parking.

Property owner Steve Bayly, however, confirmed an agreement and believes his land is a suitable place for buses to park.

"We've entered into an agreement with VANOC to rent nine and a half acres of the Mons site.

"You don't want to deadhead buses south in the congested area.
"I think it's quite suitable for that."

The Mons site can hold about 250 buses and the Function site can hold about 280 cars.

The municipality also needs to find an impound lot once the current facility in the day skier parking lots is taken over for VANOC's transportation mall. That impound lot needs to fit up to 100 vehicles. A new site must be found by the end of September.

The public has until Friday, Sept. 18 to give feedback on the two TCUP applications. After that date the general manager of community life, Bob MacPherson, will make a decision.

South of Whistler, VANOC has also created a temporary parking lot across the highway from the entrance to the Callaghan Valley, home of Whistler Olympic Park.

Further down the highway, the Brandywine Snowmobile parking lot, north of the provincial park, will be used to park Games-related vehicles connected with Whistler Olympic Park.

The Brandywine Provincial Park will also be closed to the public and used as a screening area for all commercial vehicles delivering to official Olympic venues.

All trucks under five tonnes delivering to Olympic venues will need to pull over at Brandywine for a security check before traveling up the highway as part of the venue security protocol.



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