Zoning is now in place to allow more caretaker suites at 105 Titanium Way.
At Whitehorse city council’s Sept. 27 meeting, members were unanimous in approving second and third reading of a zoning change to allow for up to three more caretaker suites, small residential units attached to businesses, at 105 Titanium Way. They will join one that is already there now.
The decision follows a Sept. 13 public hearing on the proposal. While no one addressed council directly on the proposed change, three written submissions were received with one raising concerns and the other two expressing support.
Those in support pointed to the need for a greater housing supply and housing options, a reduced commute time for workers, and a need for more residents in the Marwell subdivision, city planner Zane Hill stated in an earlier report to council.
The submission raising concerns about the rezoning process came from the Kwanlin Dün First Nation.
It was argued if the city is intending to implement recommendations from the city’s Marwell Plan for the neighborhood (such as allowing for more caretaker suites), the city should make the change across the entire mixed-use commercial/industrial zone, and make it consistent not only with the Marwell Plan, but the Official Community Plan and other city documents.
“Further, the concern is that implementing the Marwell Plan by permitting greater development potential on an individual lot within the CIMx zone is not an equitable approach to implementation,” Hill said, adding that the city is currently working on updating the OCP and a rewrite of the zoning bylaw will follow that could see such a change for the entire zone.
“In the meantime, applications may be submitted for rezoning amendments by any property owner,” Hill explained. “It would not be possible to apply this zoning change more broadly at this time as it is an application from one property owner and the required public notice has not been provided for other areas.”
Before voting in favour of the final two readings of the bylaw, Coun. Laura Cabott pointed to the concerns from the First Nation, but also said with an October election it will likely be some time before broader changes to the entire zone can come forward.
The proposal fits with the city’s Marwell Plan and Cabott said she wouldn’t want to hold this development up, waiting for broader zoning changes for the neighbourhood to come forward. She also noted other property owners can also bring forward their own proposals for caretaker suites should they want to move forward with such a project.
“I think there’s good reason to support this,” she said.
Others also pointed out the zoning change will add more housing stock to the city, with Coun. Samson Hartland stating the proposal directly addresses issues a number of employers are facing in finding staff due to the difficult housing situation in the city.
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