A look at issues discussed at Whitehorse city council’s Sept. 20 meeting.
Sailing society seeks conditional use approval again
The Yukon Breeze Sailing Society is once again asking Whitehorse city council to approve a conditional use application that would allow the group to put in additional storage containers and fencing at the site it uses on Schwatka Lake.
An application from the society was turned down earlier this year by council, but officials with the society say their concept has changed and suggest, therefore, the city should consider this as a new application.
The society would place the two proposed containers in a different, more sunken, area that would allow them to blend in better with the area, Melissa Halpenny, a director on the sailing society, told council in a presentation. The containers would be painted green.
Halpenny also outlined plans for fencing, noting the group is more than willing to work with the city on any design or other requirements.
Allowing for the containers would not only mean more storage, but would also provide a covered classroom space for teaching and summer camps since the boats that are in the current covered storage area would be moved into the containers, opening up the space for learning.
“We do have widespread community support,” she said, highlighting dozens of letters submitted to the city showing support for the plans.
She emphasized that area trails and access to the water would not be impacted.
While council had originally been scheduled to discuss the matter later in the meeting, the proposal was taken off the agenda with the sailing society only learning of the change an hour before the meeting. Conditional use applications are not being considered by council for at least six months after they have been turned down, though new applications can come forward.
Halpenny argued the issue should be considered as it is different than what the group proposed earlier in the year.
Proposed fee changes
Some council members are expressing concerns over proposed changes to fees for dumping snow at a city site.
The proposed changes would see the permit cost for commercial vehicles rise to $1,000 per winter and to $250 per winter for personal vehicles, rather than the current $100 permit for both commercial operators and personal snow haulers.
While city staff explained the measure would help the city recoup more of what it costs to manage the snow dump — from the current approximately five per cent recovered to 45 per cent — Councillors Dan Boyd and Kirk Cameron noted their concerns for residents who may just have a load of snow here and there when they’re clearing out their own or a neighbour’s driveway.
Cameron wondered if there might be an opportunity to rethink the direction on the fees.
Council is scheduled to vote on the change Sept. 26.
A 1,400-square-metre portion of the Benchmark Trailer Park in Crestview could soon be rezoned for single detached housing.
At Whitehorse city council’s Sept. 20 meeting, planner Mathieu Marois brought forward a recommendation the rezoning go ahead to second and third reading after no submissions came forward in a Sept. 12 public hearing on the matter.
As it has been noted in previous reports, the site is not being used for the trailer park and there are no intentions for it to be used as such. The owners want to subdivide to create the new lot to build a single detached house.
The property is currently zoned as residential mobile home park, which would allow for one single detached house on the property, but the owners are looking for the rezoning and subdivision in order to get a mortgage “as it is difficult to obtain a mortgage on leased land.”
“A free standing titled property will therefore facilitate securing a mortgage.”
Council will vote on second and third reading Sept. 26.
Waste management changes considered
Changes to the waste management bylaw could mean less sorting for commercial haulers.
At Whitehorse city council’s Sept. 20 meeting, Ira Webb, the city’s manager of solid waste, brought forward a proposed change to the bylaw that would no longer require construction/demolition (C&D) waste to be sorted from residual waste.
“Residual waste and C&D waste are currently being placed in seperate fill areas of the landfill,” he said.
“The city’s 2023-2033 solid waste management plan recommends landfilling C&D and residual waste together in one cell to reduce potential impact from leachate and reduce the potential for landfill fire.”
As Webb went on to explain, operating a single cell reduces leachate potential because only one cell is exposed to precipitation. It also reduces void space in the C&D waste stream, thereby reducing the chance of fire.
“Accepting combined residual and C&D wastes will also benefit waste hauling companies as it will allow them to utilize less bins and potentially reduce their unsorted load charges,” he said.
“There is also potential for an increase in diversion by freeing up waste bins which can be used for other controlled wastes, for example cardboard [and] clean wood. Initial consultation with waste haulers indicate support for this change.”
During council discussion on the matter, Coun. Mellisa Murray issued a reminder that the city’s survey for its next solid waste action plan concludes Sept. 25. It can be found on the city website.
Council will vote Sept. 26 whether to move forward on the bylaw change.
Contact Stephanie Waddell at firstname.lastname@example.org