Whitehorse City Hall (Yukon News file)

Whitehorse City Hall (Yukon News file)

City news, briefly

A look at issues discussed by Whitehorse city council at its May 17 meeting

A look at issues discussed by Whitehorse city council at its May 17 meeting.

Lane closure concerns expressed

Whitehorse city council could soon move ahead with the final two readings of a bylaw that would formally close a lane at the city hall site at Second Avenue and Steele Street.

At council’s May 17 meeting, Pat Ross, the city’s manager of land and building services, brought forward a public hearing report outlining the issues brought up in the only written submission the city received on the proposed lane closure.

The lane extends off of Steele Street between city hall and MacBride Museum. It turns toward Second Avenue, running between city hall and the now-closed fire hall.

The closure is being brought forward as part of the lot consolidation for the site as the city gets set to demolish the fire hall, a portion of city hall and build a new services building, transit hub, rebuild and renovate city hall.

The site is currently made up of 12 separate lots and the laneway. Under the proposal, the lots and laneway would be consolidated into one lot before work begins.

The first step in that is the formal permanent closure of the laneway.

The public hearing was held on May 10 with the city receiving just one written submission.

It highlighted concerns about fire suppression and guest safety at the museum, the possibility of emergency egress from the museum being compromised and argued there are a number of developments downtown where laneways have been kept in place even as development has happened.

As Ross stated in his report the space between city hall and the museum is expected to remain intact at seven metres and be kept as open space that would allow access to the museum property if needed for fire suppression.

Similarly, any egress from MacBride Museum would not be impacted.

Finally, on the retention of laneways in other developments, Ross explained in those cases the lanes are typically kept in place to provide access to properties in that block.

“There are examples where lanes within blocks downtown have not been developed and have been closed to accommodate development,” he said, citing as examples a number of Yukon government buildings, the Elijah Smith Building, the Sternwheeler Hotel and part of the museum property.

Council will vote on whether to move forward with the final two readings of the bylaw May 25.

(Stephanie Waddell)

Zoning bylaw changes could move forward

Changes to the City of Whitehorse’ development plan process and requirements around drainage could soon take a step forward.

At Whitehorse city council’s May 17 meeting, members were presented with a public hearing report on proposed changes to the zoning bylaw.

As Pat Ross, the city’s manager of land and building services, explained in an earlier report to council, the changes are aimed at improving and streamlining the development permit process while also creating more clear guidelines around site grading and drainage for properties.

The guidelines for grading and drainage are proposed for more simple developments — such as individual residential lots — at this point, with further guidelines expected to cover more complex developments in the future.

There were no submissions made to the public hearing on May 10, Ross noted at the May 17 meeting before presenting council with the recommendation that second and third reading be brought forward for consideration.

Council will vote on whether to move forward with the final two readings of the bylaw on May 25.

(Stephanie Waddell)

Spring rec grants

More than 20 local organizations could receive close to $100,000 for a variety of projects with 13 groups potentially receiving close to $50,000 in operational support.

Whitehorse city council members were presented with the proposed spring recreation grants at its May 17 meeting.

The proposal details two streams of funding — one for projects and initiatives with the other for operational costs.

Of the 23 that would receive $97,437 in project funding, the Victoria Faulkner Women’s Centre would see the largest grant at $7,440 for its Mom and Kids Program while Boreal Adventure Running would receive the smallest grant at $600 for COVID-19 signage to be used at race events.

Meanwhile, in the operation grant category, eight groups would each receive $4,500, the largest amount in that category. They include the Friends of Mount Sima; Golden Age Society; Yukon Church Heritage Society; Yukon Music Camp; and the Yukon Transportation Museum Society all for operations and maintenance costs, with the Mountain View Golf Course receiving the same amount for electrical maintenance; the Guild Society for utility support; and the Heart of Riverdale Community Centre for facility fees, administration and advertising.

The smallest amount in the category — at $750 — would go to Special Olympics Yukon to be used for electricity.

Council will vote on the proposed grants May 25.

(Stephanie Waddell)

Whitehorse city council