7104 Re-zoning letters

This page will link the letters written about our project to council and will include our responses.

  1. Trevor and Judy Hill – Residents of the adjacent Fitzsimmons walk project. Page 211-220
  2. Ken Melamed – Former mayor of Whistler. Page 225
  3. GD Maxwell – Long time local writer for Pique Magazine.  Page 73-74
  4. James Thomson & Colleen Smith – Residents of Fitzsimmons Walk. Page 134-143
  5. Tara Piersanti – Residents of Fitzsimmons Walk. Page -144
  6. Elizabeth Chapman – Residents of Fitzsimmons Walk. Page -145 -148
  7. Damon & Stevi Williams – Residents of Fitzsimmons Walk. Page -149-159

 

Summary of our Response:

I would like to thank our neighbors who have written letters of concern about our project. Thanks to James Thompson and Colleen Smith, Tara Piersanti, Elizabeth Chaplin, Damon and Stevi Williams, and Trevor and Judy Hill.

The same thread goes through all the letters. Density, parking, congestion, setbacks, trees, location of garden, number of units.

Most of you support Affordable housing in Whistler in general and have limited support with conditions for our proposal. The issues brought up in your letters need to be addressed by us to give you comfort that we will make good neighbors. Since we have had no feedback from the RMOW at this time we will use your comments as a guide to improve our project and make it fit into the neighborhood.

First of all thank you for taking the time to express your concerns about our project. If you still have concerns about what we are proposing after reading our response and looking at our changes then please contact us and let us know. We are open to discussing our project with you in person at any time.

I think the most important issue are the mature trees on the site and the setbacks from the property lines. We have completed a detailed survey of the existing trees on the site and the height of those trees. We have moved the building closer to the Highway side of the property and preserve many of those trees and the rock face that is a great feature facing 7124. We originally used 3m setbacks that are consistent with most zoning setbacks for side lot lines in Whistler. 7124 uses 4.5 setbacks from our common property line. We can mirror those setbacks so we are consistent with our neighbors. We can also use a 6m setback from 7124 on our South property line to preserve more trees. As we have no trees on the highway side of the property this would work well for both of our properties. However please consider that the 2 buildings of 7124 have all their view windows facing east Over Nancy Greene Drive with un-obstructed views with no trees. Our project will be out the back where you have few windows and we will maintain a tree buffer. Our project will also act as a sound barrier to highway 99 and improve the sound quality of all the rooms facing Highway 99.

The trees left on the area are all on our property as 7124 clear cut all the trees on their property to build the project and accommodate the parkade and walkways  that are with 1m of our site. Our site should not have to make up for the loss of trees an our neighbors property. We have also removed the community garden and ensured that we are able to retain the most existing trees possible.

Height. 7124 has a height of 14M in the zoning. We are asking for a height of 15M. the extra meter of height will allow us to have a flat roof and our building will be about the same overall height as the buildings at 7124. Our building will be between 10’ and 25’ lower than the trees between our properties that we can maintain by moving the building. You can see more examples of height comparisons in the revised zoning package and the changes page.

Parking has been mentioned in a few letters. Our goal is to not add to the congestion problems in Whistler and the neighborhood. If we add 130 parking spaces they will all be full and we will add significant traffic to the entrance of White Gold. By having less parking and being a rental building, we can control how many cars we have by renting to people without cars. There are a lot of people who live in Whistler and do not own a car. This will be a preferred location for people who want to live sustainably without a car or simply do not have one. The fewer parking spaces we offer the fewer cars we will add to the neighborhood.

Quality of construction has been mentioned. We are building high quality buildings. We intend to use wood framing as a sustainable construction material. This is no different than 7124. Our finishes however will be higher quality for durability and lower maintenance over time. Our construction methods will be much higher quality that all other buildings in Whistler. Our building will be built better than the Passive House standard to net zero ready. Please go and see our new building in Pemberton Radius to see what a high quality building looks like and visit our web site to see how we are achieving the highest standards of any buildings built in Canada. Our Solana project at Rainbow won the Canadian Forest Council Award for Design in 2017 and for the national award for Sustainability in 2018. Our Radius project in Pemberton thanks to our partnership with BCIT Building Science Center for Excellence is one of the most Energy efficient and Sustainable buildings in Canada.

There has been repeated concern that our proposed tenants could be 18 year olds who have just arrived. This will not be the case. We have proposed to work with the WHA list, many of whom have been on the list for years looking for a stable place to call home. We have not heard back from the RMOW or the WHA on this, but as we have mentioned repeatedly, this is our proposal.

Storage and balconies and bbq. Our Radius building in Pemberton is professionally managed and the tenants have clear rules on what they can store on their balconies. BBQ’s are not allowed on balconies in our buildings, and this rule will be enforced.

One of the letters included pictures of what not to do. We Agree 100%. We have been building in Whistler for over 35 years and we have watched and learned all the things that work and do not work in our mountain building environment. We continue to improve with every project and our latest buildings are built so far beyond the existing standard, not because we have to, but because we simply want to. Our recent Radius rental building is one of the most energy efficient and highest performing buildings built in Canada and it is a purpose built rental building. We are not simply, as some accuse, building maximum size or number of units to maximize our profits. We are building the best performing buildings around that will be a comfortable and secure place to call home for people for many years to come.

Once again, to all concerned: Please review our changes page and let us know if you still are concerned about what we are proposing. We would love the opportunity to discuss our project with you and see if there is anything else we can do to make it fit into the neighborhood so that we are able to provide stable high quality housing to more long time Whistler Residents and have them fit nicely into their local community.