The facility upgrades in this Long-Range Plan consists of two components that will enhance facilities at Sunshine Village. These projects include the reclassification of temporary COVID-19 buildings to non-temporary commercial space and the construction of a day lodge located at the top of Wolverine and Jackrabbit chair lifts (Wolverine Day Lodge).
Reclassification of Temporary COVID-19 Facilities to Non-Temporary Commercial Space:
The 2018 Site Guidelines provides for a total of 3,650 square meters of additional new commercial space.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Sunshine Village obtained permits for certain facilities that were deemed for temporary use, until the public health needs subsided. This included:
- Sprung Structure at Goat’s Eye – 418 square meters
- Sprung Structure at Village – 418 square meters
- Washroom at Goat’s Eye – 33 square meters
- Washroom at Village – 33 square meters
- Three self-contained kitchen trailers – 18 square meters x 3 kitchen trailers = 54 square meters
- Conversion of operational space to commercial space within the existing Old Gondola Sliver Building – 125 square meters
Sunshine Village has determined that it is in the best interest of the resort to retain these facilities and incorporate them into the Long-Range Plan. This component will be a partial consumption of the new commercial space that was provided for in the 2018 Site Guidelines.
It is recognized by the Resort that these temporary facilities do not meet the architectural themes outlined in Section 4.4. The Resort will propose to redevelop these facilities in the future, using a “like-for-like” development permit process in order to meet design guidelines. Like-for-like redevelopment will reflect the commercial space which currently exists within the temporary facilities. The timing of this will likely be between 5 and 10 years from now, after completion of the projects in the first Long-Range Plan.
The scope of this project is administrative. This component of the Long-Range Plan will allocate 1,081 square meters of the 3,650 meters provided in the 2018 Site Guidelines. It removes the temporary status condition in the development permit and building permit for each of these buildings.
Context and Need:
The space provided is necessary to balance the supply of commercial space with the other aspects of the resort such as ski terrain, lift capacity, and parking / transit capacity. Visitors have expressed satisfaction with these facilities at the Ski Area.
Policy Substantiation and Applicable Requirements:
The 2018 Site Guidelines provide for the expansion of commercial space to address basic visitor needs and balancing of ski area components within the negotiated growth limits.
The reclassification of these temporary facilities represents an expansion of the Ski Area’s commercial floor space by 1,081 m2. The total commercial floor area increase is included in the “resort balancing” analysis contained in Section 4.2 of this plan document.
Top of Wolverine Day Lodge and Ski Way:
The proposed Wolverine Day Lodge is for winter (ski season) use only and located at the top of the existing Wolverine and Jackrabbit chairlifts. The development includes the construction of up to 1,848 square meters of commercial space, plus the required operational and mechanical space, to be determined upon final design. Limited evening use may be considered subject to environmental review. The development may either be one building or a collection of smaller buildings within close proximity of one another immediately adjacent to the top terminals of the two existing chairlifts and will not exceed 1,848 square meters of new commercial space in total. Given topographical constraints, the buildings will not be able to be spread too far apart.
The development area may include approximately .3 ha of footprint area for the actual building or buildings, based on final design. The project also includes a short (330 m) ski way (clear cut graded ski run) to reduce congestion to the northeast. Maximum building height will not exceed 15 m above existing grade. As an example, the Creekside Lodge at the base area is 15m tall. Basements may also be incorporated into the design.
Tree removal will be conducted to create a pad(s) for the building(s), improve sight lines from the building(s), and allow for skier circulation around the facilities and lifts. Exact siting will be defined at the Development Permit stage of approvals and in consultation with Parks Canada. Additionally, water, sewer, propane and fiber lines will be installed underground to service the facility. Alternative locations for this infrastructure are described in the Detailed Impact Assessment and will also be finalized at the Development Permit stage of approval. The project may also be constructed as a phased development. These details, along with architectural and engineering plans, will be submitted at the Development Permit phase. The below figure (Conceptual Building Site Plan) illustrates a potential conceptual site plan of the buildings at the top of the existing Wolverine and Jackrabbit chairlifts.
This project was historically known as the “Goat’s Eye Day Lodge” but has since been renamed the “Wolverine Day Lodge” and slightly relocated. The Goat’s Eye Day Lodge was analyzed and a Development Permit was issued in 2014 but that permit expired due to the passage of time. The former Goat’s Eye Day Lodge was approved for 3,300 square meters while the Wolverine Day Lodge being proposed now is 1,858 square meters.
The reasons the Resort considered for the Wolverine lodge location are:
- The limitations for where a lodge can be located in the Goat’s Eye Area Concept per the 2018 Site Guidelines.
- The development footprint will fit the mostly flat area at the selected site.
- Two chairlifts currently terminate at the site, but no day lodge services, or washrooms, currently serve this location.
- Adequate underground power currently exists to the Wolverine Day Lodge site.
- The ability to gravity flow wastewater downhill to the existing wastewater treatment plant is a significant advantage for the Wolverine location verses the bottom of Goat’s Eye. This eliminates the need to build a second wastewater treatment plant or a large pump station and underground sewer line from Goat’s Eye to the existing wastewater treatment plant. This solution also significantly reduces power consumption on a comparative basis.
- The head/pressure on the proposed water line is sufficient because the Wolverine lodge location is lower than the existing domestic water reservoirs.
- Skier circulation will work at the site. Note: The Wolverine Ski Way was designed to improve existing and future skier circulation at the site.
- The Wolverine Day Lodge site enhances skier distribution across the resort and serves protected below treeline and easy ski terrain.
- By not building this structure at the bottom of the Goat’s Eye lift, that area will not be as congested.
- The site allows a phased project with a collection of one, two or three buildings within the analyzed area.
As further clarification, the Resort will not be proposing to develop another “Goat’s Eye Day Lodge” in the future as the allowed future additional commercial space for the Wolverine Day Lodge will consume most of the additional space available under the 2018 Site Guidelines.
The existing commercial structures at Goat’s Eye Base are all temporary construction systems and will be redeveloped in the future to bring them into conformity with the Architectural Themes. That work will be proposed as a “like-for-like” re-development.
The building(s) will be visible from the top of the WaWa lift (from the west) and the top of the Goat’s Eye lift (from the north east) but will not be dominant due to the distance and small scale of the development relative to the vantage points. Since the elevation of the Wolverine Lodge is lower than the top of WaWa or Goat’s Eye top terminals, the viewer from these two locations will be looking down at the top of the building(s), located next to the top terminal of the existing Wolverine Express and Jackrabbit lifts. As per the Architectural Theme (4.4), the development will be constructed with natural colored materials using modern mountain design. The development will not be visible from the Village (from the south) or the Base Area (from the north).
The site for the day lodge will be immediately adjacent to the top terminals of the existing Wolverine Express and Jackrabbit quad chairlifts (see below figure "Wolverine Day Lodge location at the top of Wolverine and Jackrabbit lifts in red"). Construction supplies and equipment will travel on the existing service road which has accessed the chairlift terminals for several years. Underground three phase power exists which currently services the chairlifts. Tree removal will be conducted to make a pad for the building, improved viewscapes to the east and south, and allow for skier circulation around the building and the lifts. An underground water line, sewer line, and fiber optic line will be installed from the day lodge down to the existing wastewater treatment plant, exact location for these underground utilities is to be determined with final engineering and options are shown in the Detailed Impact Assessment to this Long-Range Plan.
The Wolverine Day Lodge building footprint is approximately .3 ha. Utility alignment footprint ranges from .74 ha to .31 ha.
The ski way footprint is approximately .57 ha and will require additional vegetation removal and grading to level the fall line adding approximately .78 ha. The ski way will be approximately 330 m long, and the groomed surface of the trail will be approximately 15 m wide. See below figure "Wolverine Ski Way in green" for the preliminary footprint location. The conceptual construction plan is shown in more detail in the Detailed Impact Assessment for this Long-Range Plan.
Context and Need:
Sunshine Village has determined that a new lodge and ski way located at the top of the Wolverine chair is desirable and advantageous for the following reasons:
- A construction road exists for access to the site, negating the need for a new road.
- Underground electrical power exists at the site.
- Water and wastewater will gravity flow to the wastewater treatment plant. This eliminates the need for additional infrastructure such as pump stations and/or a second water treatment facility, such as what would be required at the bottom of Goat’s Eye, for example. As a result, substantial energy / power consumption savings occur as a result of a gravity flow system from this site / location.
- The site has two quad chairlifts that unload at the site but no services such as washrooms, food & beverage, or a place to warm up on cold days. The Wolverine and Jackrabbit terrain services a desirable blend of beginner, intermediate, and advanced terrain which is all protected from the wind and weather. During challenging weather days, visitors are drawn to these lower / protected slopes. From a visitor experience point-of-view, providing day lodge services is important for this location.
- This central location will disburse visitors effectively for an overall high-quality visitor experience.
- This component consolidates development in an area that has existing development, chairlift terminals, utilities, and road access in place.
- The location of the lodge and ski way is below the alpine treeline and therefore visually unobtrusive from key perspectives outside of the Ski Area.
- The ski way will improve skier safety and circulation by reducing congestion at the top of the Wolverine and Jackrabbit chairlifts by directing traffic away from skiers unloading Jackrabbit and Wolverine ski lifts.
Policy Substantiation and Applicable Requirements:
The 2018 Site Guidelines provide allowances for the expansion of commercial space to address visitor needs and to balance ski area components within the negotiated growth limits.
This component represents an expansion of the ski area’s commercial floor space by 1,858 m2. The total commercial floor area increase is included in the “resort balancing” analysis contained in Section 4.2 of this Plan.
The 2018 Site Guidelines prohibits summer use within the Goat’s Eye Area Concept boundary. This condition will apply to the Wolverine Day Lodge.
This Wolverine ski way represents a reduction of .57 ha of the approved 80 ha of new ski terrain in the 2018 Site Guidelines.
The Wolverine Day Lodge and ski way is within the Resort’s existing Developed Area and within the Goat’s Eye Area Concept boundary per the 2018 Site Guidelines, both of which allow this development to be considered.
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