Whistle Bend homeowners on green streets in the growing Whitehorse neighbourhood were expecting 2.5-metre wide, pedestrian-only meandering paved pathways with greenspace, trees and lighting in front of their homes and a lane in the back based on their purchase contracts with the Yukon government.
But that path has been turned into a six-metre wide fire lane, for example, between Luella Lane and Sadie Lane.
In a May 11 interview, Yukon Party MLA for Porter Creek Centre Yvonne Clarke said affected residents want the green streets as promised in the sale contract.
“I heard from residents that all those changes were done without any consultation with owners,” she said.
“They had purchased a lot, promised one thing, and then they were given something different.”
Clarke has raised issues with green streets in the Yukon Legislative Assembly on multiple occasions on behalf of her constituents.
According to the City of Whitehorse’s “what we heard” report on green streets, residents were concerned that the implementation of Phase 4 and 5 green streets in Whistle Bend was “inconsistent” with the concept design they had agreed to.
Underground utility lines were constructed within the green street corridor. Fire hydrants were located within the corridor due to the location of the water line. The city’s fire standards require a six-metre wide path for emergency access based on national building and fire codes.
As per the report, the Phase 5 green street was partially built with a six-metre wide paved path due to access requirements for emergency vehicles. The Phase 4 green street was also graded to be paved with a six-metre wide path, but construction was put on hold while the city and the Yukon government sought input from residents on their preferred final design.
The city and the Yukon government presented two design options to residents in order to find a solution.
As per the report’s findings, residents preferred design option 2. That means the existing pavement and grading on the green streets will be removed and replaced with a three-metre wide path, which is closer to the original design. The fire hydrants will be relocated within the adjacent lanes of the green streets, which will require high capital costs.
In the report, construction is expected to be complete in summer 2023.
An April 19 letter from the city to property owners indicates the city has given the green light for the Yukon government, the project developer, to go ahead with construction. The letter indicates green street construction will start early this season.
Clarke said it’s up to the territorial government to follow through.
“It seems the city has come up with a solution that will make residents happy, so it’s now up to the Yukon government to deliver on that solution,” she said.
Project manager Eamonn Pinto confirmed construction will start in the next few weeks, noting the Yukon government adheres to the city’s design and engineering standards. He said the city “sort of led” the early planning process. He said a tender for the landscaping work will go out later.
In total, 60 lots are affected, Pinto said.
“That input was heard,” he said.
Contact Dana Hatherly at email@example.com