Dawson residents oppose Dome Road reroute

Dawson City residents have appealed the town's decision to grant a permit to move a section of the Dome Road.

Dawson City residents have appealed the town’s decision to grant a permit to move a section of the Dome Road.

Two dozen residents submitted letters appealing the decision to the town’s mayor and council, and there was a public hearing on Wednesday evening.

The Yukon government wants to move a section of the road so a miner can access gold he has claim to underneath. Once the area is mined out, the government will be able to go ahead with a residential lot development it has been planning in the area for more than five years.

The government says the project will also improve road safety.

But some local residents say the government shouldn’t be subsidizing mining in the area, and that more planning and discussion is needed.

“In its proposal, and its actions to date, YTG is effectively telling council and residents that the right to mine is more important than the right of to govern,” said resident Jim Taggart in a news release. “That is unacceptable and can’t be allowed to continue. These circumstances are the perfect storm around which to finally resolve the issues of municipal authority and mining within municipalities. Council must take a stand and fight for its and residents’ rights.”

The claims in question are owned by Darrell Carey.

He bought the Slinky claims in 1998, after Dawson’s municipal boundary was extended to include the Dome area.

Since then, his efforts to pull placer gold from the ground have put him in conflict with the town of Dawson and Dome Road residents.

The claims are adjacent to, and in some cases overlap, properties in a 74-lot subdivision. Local residents have complained that the mine operations are disruptive and pose a threat to their safety and property values.

In 2009 the Yukon Environmental and Socio-economic Assessment Board recommended that Carey’s placer mining licence not be renewed because of those potential adverse effects. But Energy, Mines and Resources went against that recommendation and renewed the mining permits anyhow.

In 2012 Yukon Supreme Court found that Carey owed the city more than $28,000 for clearing trees and excavating gravel too close to the road, in breach of his mining permit.

The town had argued that the work was not only in breach of the licence, but made the road unsafe for motorists.

Carey’s excavations “pose significant hazards to, and unreasonably interfere with, the integrity of the Dome Road,” said the statement of claim.

According to an information package prepared by City of Dawson staff, the plan to reroute the Dome Road around the claims is the result of many months of consultation between the town, the territory and the miner.

City administration believes that mining activity in the area will be prolonged if the reroute is not permitted, according to the document.

City council will make a decision about the appeal in the coming weeks.

Contact Jacqueline Ronson at

jronson@yukon-news.com

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