City gives green light to micro apartment project

A proposed micro-housing project that could add 10 affordable apartments to downtown Whitehorse has gotten the go-ahead from the city.

A proposed micro-housing project that could add 10 affordable apartments to downtown Whitehorse has gotten the go-ahead from the city.

Whitehorse City Council approved two zoning amendments for the building planned for 305 Hawkins St. at a meeting on Jan. 16.

The first amendment reduces the number of on-street parking spaces the building needs from six to five. The second allows for eight of the 10 units to not have balconies. The building will have a rooftop patio.

“There is a severe lack of affordable housing in the city and we have to realize that not all of our citizens can afford the prices for houses in Whistle Bend and Copper Ridge,” said Coun. Betty Irwin.

Last year 360° Design Build, owned by Antonio Zedda and Jack Kobayashi, received $500,000 from the Yukon government towards construction of the apartments.

The one-bedroom units are expected to be between 360 and 425 square feet. The four-storey building will have 14 units and 10 of them will be classified as “affordable,” meaning rent will have to stay at or below the median rent in the area for 10 years.

Council heard some concerns from residents about the new project. Some said there was already a lack of parking on Hawkins Street and worried demand would increase with a new building.

“It has been pointed out that most of the parking problems occur during the day when people are employed in nearby businesses. I would venture to say that the majority of those workers are employed by the territorial government,” Irwin said.

“Perhaps YG could help out here by figuring out a way to provide parking for their own employees so they wouldn’t be forced to park on the side streets.”

Contact Ashley Joannou at ashleyj@yukon-news.com

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