Whitehorse City Hall (Yukon News file)

Whitehorse City Hall (Yukon News file)

City news, briefly

A look at Whitehorse city council decisions at its Nov. 29 meeting.

Housing incentive proposed

Developers of a 32-unit condo project will receive a grant for the development cost charges on the project at 25 Gleaner Ave. in Whistle Bend.

Whitehorse city council approved a development incentive at its Nov. 29 meeting.

Pat Ross, the city’s manager of land and building services, brought forward the incentive at an earlier meeting, stating it meets the criteria specified that the density will be 50 per cent greater than the minimum required.

As Ross explained, the goal of the incentive for the multi-residential zone is “to encourage smaller, denser housing forms in targeted areas.”

The development will see four buildings that each feature eight two-bedroom units built on the 0.403 hectare lot. The proposal results in a density of 79 units per hectare.

“This meets the minimum requirement for eligibility for an RCM2 zone development incentive and conforms to all city zoning regulations,” Ross said. “Therefore, the development incentive application is being brought forward for council approval.”

The incentive will cover the full development cost charges, estimated at $69,920.

More than $15,000 approved for environmental grants

Three local groups will receive close to $16,000 for environmental projects.

At Whitehorse city council’s Nov. 29 meeting, members voted in favour of awarding environmental grants.

Acting planning and sustainability manager Sara Thompson brought forward the recommendation council approve environmental grants to the three groups at an earlier meeting of council.

“The City of Whitehorse is committed to encouraging and enabling societies, commercial organizations, and schools to be active partners in achieving the city’s sustainability goals,” she said.

Under the grants the Yukon Invasive Species Council will receive $7,250 towards its sweet clover outreach project, the Yukon Queer Society will receive $6,824 for its Grow & Go project, and the Whitehorse Tool Library will receive $1,900 for the library.

Appointments & schedule

Whitehorse city council members have decided what next years’ meeting schedule will be as well as what members will serve on various groups and committees.

Recommendations came forward for both at council’s Nov. 22 meeting with council approving the schedule and appointments Nov. 29.

The schedule will see council meet each Monday for the first four Mondays of the month at 5:30 p.m., or Tuesday if Monday is a holiday, with the exception of the final two weeks of August when the annual summer recess will happen and the final two weeks in December when meetings are cancelled for a winter recess.

Among the board appointments from Nov. 30 to Oct. 31, 2022, councillors Ted Laking and Mellisa Murray will serve on the Association of Yukon Communities, Coun. Michelle Friesen will serve on Crime Stopper, Coun. Dan Boyd will represent the city on the Whitehorse Chamber of Commerce and Coun. Kirk Cameron will serve on the Capital Cities Organization.

Acting city manager could become interim manager

Acting city manager Jeff O’Farrell’s title could soon change to interim city manager.

The change was brought forward to Whitehorse city council at its Nov. 29 meeting with council passing the first two readings of the changes to the city manager bylaw.

Current city manager Linda Rapp is set to retire and has been on pre-retirement leave since the spring.

Prior to taking leave, she appointed O’Farrell, the city’s director of community services, to the position of acting city manager until Dec. 31.

“To have the acting city manager continue beyond Dec. 31, council must exercise its power under the Municipal Act to appoint an ‘interim city manager’ to cover the period until a new city manager is recruited and appointed by council.”

Third reading of the bylaw is expected to come forward Dec. 13.

Safety reminder

City of Whitehorse officials released a safety reminder to residents Dec. 2.

“It’s that time of year when rivers and lakes are beginning to freeze, creating potentially dangerous conditions,” officials said.

“Fast moving rivers such as the Yukon River freeze at different rates, and are even more unpredictable than lakes and ponds. We encourage everyone to stay off river ice, and as an alternative, please choose the use of designated ice surfaces such as local community ice rinks.”

It went on to note that snowmobiling, ice fishing, and cross-country skiing are among activities done on the ice through the winter. Ice thickness should be at least 10 centimeters (four inches) to safely support one person, and more if vehicles are present, the city stated.

Those who take part in activities on outdoor ice are advised wear a personal flotation device, to take safety equipment, and not go out on the ice alone.

If anyone is in a dangerous situation involving ice, the city reminds them to:

Call 911 if you, another person or your pet needs assistance;

Stay calm and shout for help;

Have a long branch, rope or pole to reach someone, but do not become a victim;

Keep low and distribute your weight as much as possible;

If you break through the ice, make an attempt to climb out where you fell through, if possible; and

Be prepared to start a fire to mitigate the effects of hypothermia.

Parents are encouraged to speak to their children about the dangers of going out onto the ice, supervise children playing on or near ice and keep pets on a leash.

Contact Stephanie Waddell at stephanie.waddell@yukon-news.com

Whitehorse city council