City news, briefly

A look at the decisions made by Whitehorse city council at its Oct. 15 meeting

Whitehorse changes how it books recreation facilities

Whitehorse city council has adopted a new policy governing how regular bookings are doled out at its facilities.

The Indoor Facility Allocation Policy replaces a few separate documents that have guided staff in the booking of facilities like the Canada Games Centre, Takhini Arena and the Grey Mountain Room at the Mount McIntyre Recreation Centre.

Councillors Laura Cabott and Steve Roddick praised the new policy before voting with the rest of council in favour of it Oct. 15.

Cabott said it will balance the needs and interests of many residents, with Roddick commenting that it will also provide user groups with a clearer understanding of how space is prioritized and booked by the city.

The 13-page document details seven guiding principles in how space is allocated focusing on on overall benefits to the community; emphasizing efficient and appropriate use of city spaces; providing diverse opportunities that ensure recreation is available to all; supporting the success and sustainability of local groups; aligning users with the most appropriate space for their activities; being transparent about space allocations; and taking into account the historical use of certain spaces while also recognizing new user groups.

A scoring system based on the guidelines will determine how space is allocated along with deadlines for user groups to get their seasonal plans into the city and deadlines setting out when the city will make its decision for each season.

If two groups want the same space at the same time end up with the same score, the city’s director of community and recreation services will review the information, likely speak to both organizations and make a decision on which group gets the space.

Trail plan costs double

The price tag on the city’s update to its 2007 trail plan has doubled.

Whitehorse city council voted Oct. 15 to add another $35,000 from the city’s portion of gas tax funding to the $35,000 already budgeted for work on the plan.

The additional funds come in light of the more comprehensive effort the city is undertaking on the plan.

What was going to be an internal process with city departments will now include a public consultation process as well to come up with an updated trail plan.

As council members noted during discussion ahead of the vote the plan is now dated and no longer reflects all the trail uses in Whitehorse. There’s now more mountain biking, cycling and winter activities happening on the trails around Whitehorse, Coun. Laura Cabott pointed out.

“Things have evolved in the last 10 years,” she said.

Council approves Phase 7 of Whistle Bend subdivision

Whitehorse city council approved the subdivision for the seventh phase of the Whistle Bend neighborhood at the Oct. 15 council meeting.

Zoning was put in place this year, with the subdivision establishing the 90 lots for single detached and duplex homes, a greenbelt, five roads and one lane over the 9.1 hectares on the northeast side of the neighbourhood.

Though the subdivision is approved, it will be years before Phase 7 lots become available as the Yukon government is still working on Phase 4. The first 74 lots were released in September with another lottery for the remaining 119 Phase 4 lots to come. Commercial lots in the neighborhood are expected to be released early next year.

Phase 5 is anticipated to be finished in July 2020 with detailed design for Phase 6 now underway.

Officials are also working on planning for the three remaining parts of the neighborhood that have not had any planning work done while efforts continue on the update to the city’s Official Community Plan looking at where the next major site for residential development will be after Whistle Bend is finished.