The first group of Whistler homes may soon have their illegal crawlspaces legitimized, after three new bylaws were adopted last month to tackled the issue.
A report on the potential redevelopment of Nordic Vistas, a low-density housing unit on Castle Drive, was presented to council Tuesday (Oct. 2).
“I believe that this is the first time now that council is going to have an opportunity to consider legitimizing illegal space, so this is exactly what we wanted to occur with the changes to the zoning bylaws,” said Mayor Nancy Wilhelm-Morden.
The project, developed in the 1980s with 14 small units, was built to complement the surrounding forest, but was a topographical challenge for developers.
The sloping nature of the site led to the construction of several illegal over height crawlspaces, which are defined as any space not built at a minimum of one metre below the base of a home’s exterior walls.
Part of the development would also require a decrease in the number of available parking from 19 to 14 spaces.
Municipal planning staff were first approached last year to find a solution to the issue of illegal spaces at Nordic Vistas. An architect drew up diagrams detailing the necessary work at the site, which was provided to council Tuesday. All of the proposed work would be contained within the building’s existing footprint.
The push to legitimize illegal space in Whistler is part of the council-appointed Illegal Space Task Force’s efforts to tackle the issue of illegal construction and usage of crawlspaces, which were often built without proper permits or the required municipal inspection.
Homeowners and contractors can visit www.whistler.ca/building-permits to download a residential building permit application for any new construction, or a renovation application for existing crawlspaces. They will then be asked to provide the necessary plans to the building department before paying the permit fees and booking an inspection. Covenant modifications and land use amendment contracts can be obtained by contacting the municipal planning department at 604-935-8170 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.