Council approved first and second reading of a proposed rezoning application Tuesday (March 19) that would relocate a Village maintenance facility to the resort library’s parking level.
Currently, there’s a vacant space in the library’s parking level that was originally intended for use as an end-of-trip facility with showers, change rooms and washroom amenities. The end-of-trip site has remained out of use since the library opened in 2008, and will serve as the new home for the municipality’s Village maintenance facility if approved. The proposed site will be used to store maintenance equipment and would include up to three municipal parking spaces. The existing Village maintenance shed is situated on the future site of the Audain Art Museum between Day Lots 3 and 4, and its relocation is expected to cost the RMOW around $400,000.
“I support the zoning,” said Councillor Duane Jackson. “It’s an area that the library experienced some frustration with, as that underground area where skateboarding and other activities can get quite disruptive, so maybe having more municipal exposure there isn’t a bad thing.”
The new site provides a more central location for municipal staff and will house essential equipment required for Village maintenance, with additional equipment and waste expected for storage offsite.
Mayor Nancy Wilhelm-Morden discussed the possible installation of another end-of-trip facility in the community following Tuesday’s council meeting.
“When it was designed for the library there was some good thinking behind it, and those kinds of facilities are important, so it may be that we will want to look at that again at some point in the future,” she said. “I’m not quite certain why it was never put into operation this time around, but with so many people cycling or running to work, that end-of-trip facility does have some merit.”
The rezoning will also allow for the usage of a park and playground at the site. Council endorsed the renaming a park next to the Whistler Museum as Florence Petersen Park. Staff are expected to make improvements at the park this spring that will increase the museum’s profile and interface with surrounding facilities.
“It will be really great to have that park improved and the entrance to the museum be more readily available and visible to visitors and residents alike,” said Wilhelm-Morden. “That all plays into the museum, the park, Millennium Place and across the street to the Audain (Museum). We’re developing a really interesting cultural precinct.”