Charrette planned

City planners want public help shaping plans for downtown development. Next week, Whitehorse is hosting a downtown south development charrette. It will be focused on the area south of Main Street.

City planners want public help shaping plans for downtown development.

Next week, Whitehorse is hosting a downtown south development charrette.

It will be focused on the area south of Main Street.

“It’s very large area that has a number of vacant a lots and opportunities for redevelopment and new development,” said manager of planning and development services Mike Gau. “We’re looking do to some planning before that development happens.

While working groups of city planners, architects and other professionals will meet during the day to hammer out plans, and the public is invited to check out their work in the evening and give their input.

“We are having two open houses where people can come and see the plans as they are being developed,” said city planner Ben Campbell. “The desire is to include as much input as possible.”

The plans will put on display at the High Country Inn where the public will have a chance to comment.

“It’s going to be a sticky note approach,” said Campbell. “They’ll be maps that they can look at where people can note ideas.

“It’s really good for creating discussion.”

Several planning objectives will be considered, including infrastructure upgrades, transportation, relaxing height restriction and under-utilized sites.

The city has identified 21 properties in the south downtown that vacant or undeveloped.

Earlier this year they contacted many of the property owners to find out what was hampering development, and what kind of incentives would help spur it on.

Uncertainty over height restrictions, potential infrastructure upgrades and the cost of disposing of demolished buildings were all reasons sited for holding things up.

They have also been talking with the Yukon Housing Corporation about developing some of these sites, said Gau.

“As far as vacant land owners, certainly Yukon Housing is one of the largest property owners in the area,” he said.

The charrette will take place May 17 and 19. The public open houses will take place those same days from 7-9 p.m. at the High Country Inn conference room.

Contact Josh Kerr at

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