village north 

Timeshare allowed on Village North hotel sites; public buildings expand The action in Village North heated up this week, with council approving expansion plans for municipal hall and the public safety building and modifying covenants on two hotel sites. Covenants on lots 23 and 5, hotel sites adjacent to Village Gate Boulevard, were changed to allow timeshare operations. Two firms, Vancouver-based United Properties and a subsidiary of a Malaysian company, have conditional agreements with WLC Developments Ltd. to purchase the lots. Construction of three commercial/residential buildings will begin in March on lots adjacent to the Public Safety Building and municipal hall — space currently occupied by trailers the bylaw and planning departments use. That construction, by Appia Developments, is the reason expansion plans have been fast-tracked. The expansion of municipal hall, and renovations to the basement, began last week. The Tyndall Stone Lodge, a 48-unit residential project, may also be built this summer, on Lots 7 and 10 in Village North. The addition to the Public Safety Building will give the RCMP detachment the space it needs for the next 10 years. The addition will include a two-storey building on the site currently used for RCMP vehicle parking. That will allow the RCMP to utilize the existing cell block, one of the most costly design items. The second floor of the addition will be used by the bylaw and fire departments. The expansion will cost $2.6 million. The RCMP will pay approximately 56 per cent of that cost. Meanwhile, United Properties Ltd., a Vancouver company, has a conditional agreement to buy Lot 5. United Properties also has a tentative agreement with Marriott Ownership Resort to jointly develop 118 two-bedroom units and commercial/retail space on the property. All the rooms would be included in Marriott's timeshare network. Marriott would like to start construction this summer. A numbered company has a conditional agreement to purchase Lot 23, bordered by Highway 99, Village Gate Boulevard and Northlands Boulevard. The numbered company is a subsidiary of Berjaya Leisure, a Cayman Islands corporation, which is in turn a subsidiary of Berjaya Leisure Berhad, a Malaysian company listed on the Kuala Lumpur Stock Exchange. Berjaya has indicated it would like to stratify the entire building and make about 1/3 of the rooms timeshare units. There was no indication when construction would begin on Lot 23 if the purchase agreement goes through. Councillors Bill Murray and Dave Kirk expressed concerns with the hotel sites becoming timeshare, but could find no faults with the projects. A report by planning staff found that "both the tourist industry and the ways in which people vacation is changing significantly in Canada and around the world. Popularity in timeshare is growing rapidly. This increased popularity is largely attributed to the increased flexibility in the timeshare product." Mayor Ted Nebbeling said: "We have to ask ourselves if we don't allow this what type of development what will happen here, and when. At least now we'll have the site developed by reputable people." The units will be available to the general public when not occupied by timeshare buyers. Resort Association fees will be assessed on commercial property and rooms in both projects. The 2 per cent hotel tax will also be collected on each room.

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