The transit facility in Whistler will see its zoning brought back for council discussion in an effort to allow private operators to use it – for a price.
Administration was directed to prepare a rezoning bylaw for the site at Tuesday’s (July 17) council meeting, however, opening the door for the change will also allow RMOW to have discussions with B.C. Transit on issues with the property.
Mayor Nancy Wilhelm-Morden said the space is under utilized and costs the municipality and the provincial transit authority money to operate.
Revenue generating opportunities, she said, include allowing private operators to park buses there and use the washing facilities for the vehicles.
“Because that will involve private organizations as opposed to the two Crown organizations there currently on that space we have to rezone the premises,” said the mayor adding there are no plans by any private operator that the muni is aware of to provide that type of service. “We are not scooping an opportunity for a private business.”
Wilhelm-Morden said the Crown corporation has heard some of the concerns expressed by Whislterites regarding the site and is already working on addressing its lighting standards.
The zoning bylaw, she said, is an opportunity to discuss mitigations for those kinds of issues.
“This is an opportunity for us to ask B.C. Transit to do some mitigation.”
Chief Administrative Officer Mike Furey said tour bus operators are using parking lots within Whistler for hours at a time because there is no other location for long term bus parking. He said this change will allow for that type of use at the compound and free up other parking lots.
The revenue, added Furey, from a municipal perspective will all be put back into transit.
“We would elect to put our share back into transit,” he said.
At the request of Councillor Jack Crompton, who sits on the Transit Management Advisory Committee, council also directed administration to engage the hotel sector on the subject of transit.
Specifically he said the committee would like to get a sense of how visitors are being affected by transit on routes four and five.
“There is a sense that some buses are going past visitors on the road full and are not picking them up,” Crompton said.