Waitlisters turn out for Rainbow presentation 

Development scheduled to deliver 350 units, mostly residential housing

For the past four years Emily Ng has been waiting for her number to come up on the Whistler Housing Authority waitlist.

When she applied in 2001 to buy a price restricted home in Whistler she was number 170, or thereabouts, on the ever-growing list.

It’s taken four years to move up 150 spots and now the end is almost in sight as she bides her time at number 36 on the master list – a list that topped the 500-mark roughly one month ago.

That’s just one of the reasons Ng was at Monday’s council meeting to hear about the new housing development on the Rainbow lands between Alpine Meadows and Emerald Estates. She was one of several people on the waitlist who were in the audience on Monday night, proof enough there is a pent up demand for employee housing in the resort.

"Ideally with Rainbow going through I would love a single family home," she said, the day after the council presentation. "If I could get into one of those I’d be super stoked."

Her chances aren’t bad.

Developers of the Rainbow lands are planning to deliver more than 350 units on the 45-acre site, which is arguably some of the valley’s best real estate.

Its south facing sunny aspects, gently sloping land, views over Green Lake and towards Whistler and Blackcomb Mountains and its proximity to the village make it a prime development site.

And best of all for Ng, and the hundreds of others like her on the WHA waitlist, the development will be 85 per cent resident housing.

Specifically there will be 70 single-family homes, 44 duplexes, 32 fourplexes, 50 multi-family, 20 seniors rental units, and 20 seniors units for purchase. All of those will be employee and price restricted.

To make it all work, the developers want to build some market units – 35 single-family units and 16 multi-family units to be exact. Though the market homes will be bigger than the resident-restricted units, the goal is to make them all blend in together as one community.

The fact that it will be a predominantly locals community just makes the development all the more attractive, said Ng.

"There’s a really good sense when you can walk down your street and say hello to all your neighbours and know who they are," she added.

There was a good sense from Monday’s council meeting too that council is keen to see this project move forward, though there are still a few outstanding concerns.

"I think the direction we’re going in is positive," said Councillor Ken Melamed.


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