There’s a major faceoff in Whistler tonight, and it goes down at 6 p.m. at MY Millennium Place.
There will be taking place a public hearing into a bylaw that will give permanent zoning to an asphalt plant for a location behind a hill, 150 metres from its current location and further away from the Cheakamus Crossing neighbourhood, which was known during the Olympics as the Athletes Village.
A very vocal group of Cheakamus Crossing residents (and not by any means all of them) has risen up in anger at the Resort Municipality of Whistler for accommodating an asphalt plant near their homes. They argue it’s illegal in its current location and should not only be moved from there, but well away from the Cheakamus area.
The RMOW has obtained a legal opinion containing information that informs them it would be better for them to let the plant stay close to its current location. The opinion, which contains the RMOW’s whole case for letting the plant operate in Whistler, has never been released to the public.
The issue really has divided the community up here, if letters to the editor are any indication. People opposed to the plant take as their case a series of documents that show an attempt in the late 90’s to zone the property to allow asphalt production – an attempt later abandoned by Sabre Transport Ltd., which used to own the property where the asphalt plant is operating. They also use a legal opinion that cites heavily the RMOW’s IP1 zoning bylaw, but isn’t considered completely valid by the RMOW because it didn’t have information to which its own legal opinion was privy. This, too, has not been made public.
As yet I’m uncertain whether I can make the meeting, but my colleague at the Pique, Stephen Smysnuik, will be there and I’m certain he will do a thorough job covering it. So too can we expect Jack Crompton to Tweet the thing, though I can’t be completely certain about that. He devotedly tweets the minutiae of Whistler council meetings and I can’t see this as any less of a priority.