Community, Sport and Cultural Development Minister Bill Bennett says after three years of work on the part of the Resort Municipality of Whistler, he is approving its Official Community Plan.
The community has worked hard to ensure that the Official Community Plan is consistent with the Whistler 2020 sustainability plan, reflects its community values, and ensures local growth is managed effectively and responsibly.
Since 1993, when the existing Official Community Plan was comprehensively reviewed, Whistler has changed significantly as its population has doubled from 5,000 to over 10,000. In 2009, Whistler approached the Province to advise that it would be reviewing its plan after the Olympics.
A comprehensive update to the plan was started in April 2010 to ensure Whistler's future success as a world-class resort. The review included community events, open houses, working group sessions, advisory committee meetings, and youth participation that engaged 1,500 participants. Through this process, strong support was expressed for growth management to protect the many features that make Whistler a desirable destination resort.
The Resort Municipality also engaged both the Squamish First Nations and Lil'Wat First Nations. The Province is prepared to engage both the municipality and local First Nations in future discussions on land use and economic development opportunities.
The minister's approval is the last step in the process before Whistler's Council can adopt the bylaw which confirms the Official Community Plan. The bylaw can be amended periodically as changing circumstances and new opportunities are considered. In the absence of any major provincial concern, the ministry tries to approve bylaws as soon as possible so as not to hold up the community process and to ensure certainty for the local government.
Ministry of Community, Sport and Cultural Development
250 896-4923 (Cell)