Re Takhini North Isn’t Enough: Realtors, by John Thompson:
The main Whitehorse website points out clearly on the front page our population is 25,690 at December 2009, not the “‘just 23,000 residents”Ã just an FYI fact, John.
It seems every now and then the papers like to run the broken record of some realtors “harping” about the scarcity of lots.
Thankfully we are not also subjected to other salespeople complaining about other seemingly life-altering shortages in Whitehorse.
Some of the comments in the article suggest perhaps a few realtors should have a look at visitwhitehorse.com, one of the city’s websites, to view how the city markets us to visitors and possible new citizens (future real estate clients?). Maybe read the Raven’s Ridge sales brochure?
The Yukon News article indicates that Mayor Bev Buckway has, “failed in her responsibility to sell neighbourhoods,” as suggested by a realtor.
I believe Buckway knows her responsibilities well and they are a much larger picture than some realtors like to paint.
The article quotes Mike Racz, Yukon Real Estate Association, saying the city’s planning department “works like a bugger.”
OK, planning department, what did you do, or not do, to deserve this nasty comment?
Some realtors think there is a “dearth” of single-family lots available in Whitehorse presently, a better choice of words here.
Going on 19 years ago, when I moved to Whitehorse, it was an even worse situation for housing, vacancy was about zero.
Before that there was a time of an oversupply of lots anticipating a pipeline. Pipe dreams!
Supply of lots always fluctuates. People can wait a little longer for a lot. Think they call it Yukon Time.
I am a little circumspect when reading anything realtors have to say. I live in Takhini East and about a dozen years ago Public Works Canada sold lots for single-family housing.
An opportunistic realtor and housing contractor saw a market niche not being filled and created a denser neighbourhood with a great number of condominiums, or strata-titled lots. This was simply business filling a market opportunity, we were told at the board of variance meeting. Zoning infractions occurred, but greater taxable value for the city was constructed on small lots.
If realtors see an opportunity to sell dog houses, they would be lobbying for more canine condo lots.
It is just business. Terry Bergen was quoted saying, “We believe people want to live differently than what they are planning for.” How true that is!
This gets to my point on part of your story. The city planning department is working hard trying to herd cats, or so it seems at times Ã a difficult job when it comes to planning neighbourhoods.
For a business association of realtors, who are in this for financial gain, to suggest the planning department “gets shot down” by a “handful of people who sit there and complain about everything,” you are a little off the mark here.
I am one of those handful of people and I represent the Yukon Fish and Game Association, the longest-running conservation group in the Yukon territory. Others also represent community associations, neighbourhoods, volunteer recreation groups, and other conservation groups Ã a lot of concerned people, with no reasons for financial gain, participating in public meetings to help create a better city to live in for the future.
Careful planning for development can result in protecting valued natural areas and create new neighbourhoods. Whitehorse can remain the city that people have chosen to live in exactly for those beaver trails, moose on Hamilton Boulevard or eagles nesting along shorelines.
Generally, the market dictates the workforce. Perhaps we have too many realtors right now.
John Carney, secretary
Yukon Fish and Game Association