Whitehorse City Hall (Yukon News file)

Whitehorse City Hall (Yukon News file)

City news, briefly

Development incentive approved

The developer of a condo project in the Whistle Bend neighbourhood will receive a City of Whitehorse development incentive.

Whitehorse city council approved the incentive for an 18-unit apartment style complex being built at 190 Olive May Way at its May 9 meeting.

The project will see three buildings constructed, each featuring six two-bedroom units, built on the 0.228 hectare property. Each of the units will be sold.

The project meets the criteria for the comprehensive residential multiple family (RCM2) development incentive, which grants development cost charges that would otherwise be required on such projects. In this case, the development cost charges are valued at $39,330.

To qualify for the incentive, the development’s density must be 50 per cent greater than the minimum required in the RCM2 zone.

As Pat Ross, the city’s manager of land and building services, explained in an earlier report, the incentive policy aims to encourage smaller, denser housing in targeted areas.

Before voting in favour of the incentive Coun. Kirk Cameron voiced his support, describing the proposed development as a strong project.

“This is, in my estimation, the kind of direction that we need to go in our city to ensure that we get a little bit of a handle on the housing issues that we face,” he said.

Coun. Ted Laking stated his agreement with Cameron, though he also highlighted his ongoing concerns about increasing traffic between Whistle Bend and downtown as Whistle Bend continues to grow. The city needs to think about how traffic will flow through the city’s major arteries, he said.

Property expansion moves forward

Whitehorse city council has taken a step forward to allow a downtown property to expand.

At its May 9 meeting, council members voted in favour of moving forward with a bylaw for the owners of 2050 Second Ave. to purchase the 41.92 square metre small corner section of land next to their property from the city. The corner piece is currently designated as road way and adding it to the commercial property would see the lot grow to 454.81 square metres.

The owners are planning for a new building with space for parking on the property, Pat Ross, the city’s manager of land and building services, told council at an earlier meeting, noting without the corner piece, the design potential for the site is more constrained.

The corner was originally established as an offset from the downtown rail tracks.

If the bylaw passes third reading, the corner piece would be sold at fair market value, which has been assessed at $23,500.

After that, further work would be done for the corner piece to be consolidated with the larger lot.

Pop-up patios

Changes to the City of Whitehorse’s lease, encroachment and property use policy could help bring more restaurant and bar patios to the downtown core.

Whitehorse city council voted May 9 to have administration update the city’s lease, encroachment and property use policy to allow changes to the pop-up patio program.

The program allows businesses meeting certain criteria to use on-street parking spaces for additional patio space.

Under the changes approved by council, such patios must be a maximum width of 1.8 metres for parallel parking stalls and four metres for angled parking spaces, from the curb; and the patios are prohibited on Second and Fourth Avenues.

Coun. Dan Boyd brought forward the changes, noting there had been some discussion about allowing patios in parallel parking spots. Previous to this, the patios were only permitted in angled spaces.

There was some confusion over the next steps to be taken to make the changes.

With patio season now quickly approaching, council members asked administration to look at how to change the policy as quickly as possible so businesses looking to take advantage of the program can do so.

“The demand for pop-up patios and the opportunity for them is upon us now and it’s incumbent on us to make timely decisions on these types of matters,” Boyd said.

Councillors Kirk Cameron and Ted Laking voiced their support for the changes before voting with the rest of council in favour of the motion, noting the positive impact the changes could have on the business community.

Community Service Grant application

Local organizations have until May 16 at 4:30 p.m. to apply for the 2022 City of Whitehorse community service grants.

The program provides grants for municipal taxes or rent paid in lieu of taxes to non-profit, religious, recreational and/or charitable organizations providing services to the community.

Information about and application forms for the grant are available at whitehorse.ca/grants

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