Setting off alarms

Setting off alarms We recently learned about the request by the Yukon government's Emergency Medical Services (EMS) to change the zoning for the Mine Rescue Station to allow for a multi-year use of the building as an ambulance station. We are residents

We recently learned about the request by the Yukon government’s Emergency Medical Services (EMS) to change the zoning for the Mine Rescue Station to allow for a multi-year use of the building as an ambulance station.

We are residents of Takhini West and live less than 250 metres from the proposed site, as the crow flies and the siren sounds. We are opposed to this proposal.

As an article in the Star noted, there has been no consultation with residents in any of the three Takhini neighbourhoods. There are a number of homes much closer to the site, including those currently being built on the new lots that the city just released last year as part of the Takhini North redevelopment.

However, I am sure that if consultation did occur with all Takhini neighbourhoods, there would be a significant and resounding “No.” The noise from three sirens every 24 hours, day or night, every day of the year for two to four years is unacceptable in the midst of a residential area.

We live the equivalent of about 15 houses away (in Riverdale terms). Imagine walking 10 to 15 houses down the street from where you live now. Would you be willing to have three sirens every day of the year sound and drive off at high speeds down your street? Dave Stockdale said he could live with two years of such use, but not three or four. He won’t have to live with it; we will and a minimum of 730 days of three sirens a day going is not something we suspect any city resident would want to live close to.

We have also not yet heard strong evidence that maintaining the status quo will make so much of a difference that it is worth disrupting the lives of so many residents of Takhini. What evidence has been outlined in this regard?

Additionally, it was noted that relocating to the new public safety building was “not feasible”; I would suggest that being on Range Road, in the midst of a residential area is also not feasible. Your conclusion depends on what criteria you are using to measure feasibility and acceptability.

This apparently last-minute rezoning request, done with zero consultation and closed-door planning, is inappropriate and ill-conceived on the part of the government of Yukon’s EMS. It does not live up to the city’s improved approach to community consultation and planning. EMS has put the city in an unfair position of being the target of public criticism for this poorly done project.

We encourage the city to reject the rezoning application outright and to request that EMS go back to the drawing board, and only return with a new application after they can demonstrate appropriate consultation has occurred and they are able to present evidence that other nonresidential options have been fully considered.

Jennifer Ellis and Mike Mason

Whitehorse