Council approved a development permit application Tuesday (Sept. 4) for a proposed 5,000-square-foot building and industrial property on Highway 99, just east of the Whistler Transit Facility.
The proposed Phase 1 development at Nester's Crossing light industrial property located two kilometres north of the Village will consist of one building, associated surface parking, yard storage, fenced open air storage and a small portion of road and landscaping.
"Right now we're just looking at the very first phase, which is a 5,000-square-foot building for Coastal Mountain Excavations and their yard, and then a number of small fenced yards for landscapers, contractors and people like that," said developer Steve Bayly. "Everything we're doing is in-line with what we've been talking about for five years, which is back-of-house infrastructure."
The site will be accessed by a new road, currently under construction, located behind the transit facility.
The proposed building massing is designed to articulate different uses within the building, according to a report to council.
"The building has articulation; the building colours are muted and consist of natural colours; the building materials are consistent with the mountain character and are durable to withstand Whistler's climate and are consistent with the uses of the building," said RMOW planner Melissa Laidlaw.
As per the site's zoning requirements, prior to building more than 5,382 square feet of floor area, the owner Mons Holdings Ltd. must build any future contemplated Valley trails adjacent to the site or enter into an agreement with the RMOW to provide security for the trails to be built by a specified date. As the current proposed floor area totals 5,166 square feet, very little future development at the building can occur until the proponent fulfills the agreement.
"Once we sort out the trail routing with the municipality, it'll be a huge crossroads of the Valley Trail system. It will make getting from Rainbow, Alpine and Meadow Park (Sports Centre) down to Nester's really quick. Then eventually there'll be a spur off to the Myrtle Philip (Elementary School) lower fields. It will be a really great crossroads for the Valley Trail but we're still ironing out the details there," said Bayly.
The municipality's Advisory Design Panel reviewed the design plans in July and advised the proponents to work with RMOW staff to address several minor issues surrounding landscaping and storm water management. The panel supported the proposed project at that time.
The flat industrial site is mostly cleared of trees, except for some remaining mature trees on the periphery of the site. Council endorsed the project with the caveat that these trees be protected by temporary fencing.
The site's zoning requirements mandate a setback area for screening with vegetation and a solid wall to be located 10m from the nearby railway. Council raised some issues Tuesday with the presence of such a wall due to sightline concerns and its potential impact on area vegetation, but staff iterated the need for a "hard-edge" to the site that would prevent encroachment into the buffer zone while still maintaining the existing mature trees.