No planning for mistakes

No planning for mistakes This is a letter regarding the article OCP Moving Into McIntyre Creek, appearing in last Friday's Yukon News. After reading Vivian Belik's article on the proposed Official Community Plan (OCP) changes Whitehorse would like to co

This is a letter regarding the article OCP Moving Into McIntyre Creek, appearing in last Friday’s Yukon News.

After reading Vivian Belik’s article on the proposed Official Community Plan (OCP) changes

Whitehorse would like to correct the record as the article contained several errors.

In her article, Belik reported the city is proposing a 37-hectare park in the McIntyre Creek area and is planning to develop a subdivision “in” a wetland.

This information is false.

In fact, as explained to reporters verbally and in an information handout three days before Belik’s article went to press, the city is proposing a 3,700-hectare park, which encompasses more than 90 per cent of the park proposal received by the city.

The area identified for the McIntyre Creek park is many times larger than the existing Porter Creek subdivision and includes the Mt. McIntyre ski trails. There are also four other parks proposed throughout the city.

Belik’s article also stated the city was proposing to build a new subdivision, known as Porter Creek D, in a wetland. In fact, the area identified is a disturbed area and contains, or is next to, power lines, a snow dump area, water lines, a municipal pump house and an existing road. It is not proposed to go “in” a wetland as the proposed OCP changes also call for a “minimum” 100-metre buffer on each side of McIntyre Creek, meaning the protection area is a minimum of 200 metres.

The Porter Creek D footprint has not grown since first presented to the public in 2005, as reported, and any development would be required to go through the city’s approval process, which includes a public hearing, a Yukon Environmental and Socio-Economic Assessment Act review as well as follow any applicable regulations of the Yukon and federal governments.

Proposed development has always been controversial in our community. That is why this OCP outlines specifically what areas are slated for protection Ð where no development can occur Ð and what areas “could” be developed to accommodate for future growth.

By staying within our existing infrastructure pocket and identifying our already disturbed areas for development, the city is using the principles of sustainable planning to prevent urban sprawl into undisturbed areas.

Mike Gau, manager of planning and development services

Whitehorse