Delayed OCP ready for public input

Dawson City residents have an opportunity to tweak the official community plan for the first time in six years.

Dawson City residents have an opportunity to tweak the official community plan for the first time in six years.

That’s because the town is mandated by the Yukon Municipal Act to have its community plan in place as soon as possible.

The act states the plan must be examined by the town every five years.

Dawson’s last plan was approved by council in 2000.

The plan will act as the framework for a future elected council, said Paul Moore, Dawson’s chief administrative officer.

“We don’t know when an election is going to be. We need a document prepared so that when there is elected officials, they can look at it and say, ‘We want to re-open it and go back to consultation.’”

A consultation document, which is a tool for community residents to tell the government what they believe is important to the community over the next five years, was to be released last week.

The $35,000 process is six months behind schedule, said Moore.

The contract to create the official community plan was awarded to Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in staffer Gary Wilson.

“The contractor did have a number of issues that came up that delayed the process,” said Moore.

Wilson was awarded the contract by the town’s former chief administrative officer, David Skidd, who was appointed by the territorial government.

Wilson accepted the contract the same day as he accepted his position with the First Nation as a business strategist.

Moore expects the community plan to be completed in two months.

“We have been waiting to see what was going to happen with the election. Now that it looks like that it’s going to be longer until we have elected officials, I think we do need to get through it and complete it.”

The work has not gone over budget, added Moore.

The plan will give much-needed direction on issues that are decided by the public, said Moore.

“We need some planning for the future here. We need a stronger sense of what the infrastructure needs are, our needs for development.”

Last summer 16 issues were identified by Wilson and a steering committee as being important to the town.

These include municipal boundary alterations, zoning amendments, Klondike valley land use, settlement  of Tr’ondëk Hwëchin land claims and joint planning discussions, north-end expansion, waterfront development, seasonal housing for transient workers, waste management, watershed protection, secondary sewage treatment, recreation, transportation and parking, economic development, cultural economy, tourism and marketing, and the cable system.

With spring approaching, the issue of housing for summer workers is a looming issue, said Moore.

The former tent city campground in West Dawson, which provided affordable camping spots and freedom for young workers, remains closed.

Moore has no idea where the workers will live — if they show up at all.

“It’s going to be a tough one. I assume Guggieville will be doing what they did last year, trying to market that to people coming in to stay out there.”

The privately run campground in the Klondike Valley shut down in mid-summer after failing to attract tenters because of fees and rules.

Moore recognizes that summer transients want freedom when they are not working.

“I think we need to have a better plan. It’s not going to happen by this summer. That’s why we’ve included it in the OCP.”

Moore expects campers to squat in the hills around town, like last summer, especially now that a Firesmart clearing has opened up the land.

“It’s not a solution but it’s something that’s going to happen. We’ll have to make our bylaw officer aware,” he said.

“It’s going to happen until we find a better solution.”

The OCP will look at all land issues, including zoning, said Moore, citing an occasional demand for lots that can be developed in town.

“There are not a lot of developable lots in town. We have people looking for lots and we don’t have much available. Certainly that is an issue,” he said.

“Klondike Valley, in terms of expansion. that is a big issue. If the community wants that, I need to hear from them.”

The consultation document provides residents with questions and opportunities to rate what issues they deem important.

It provides space for feedback and potential solutions.

The consultation document can be picked up at Dawson’s town hall.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Team Togo member Katie Moen sits in a sled behind a snowmobile for the ride from the airport to Chief Zzeh Gittlit School. (Haley Ritchie/Yukon News)
Coming together: How Old Crow became one of the first communities in the world to be fully vaccinated

Team Togo and Team Balto assembled with a mission to not waste a single dose of vaccine

Main Street in Whitehorse on May 4. If council moves forward with bylaw changes, eating and drinking establishments could set up pop-up patios in on-street parking spaces. (Stephanie Waddell/Yukon News)
Patios may be popping up in Whitehorse this summer

City considers program for downtown restaurants and bars

The Yukon Coroner's Service has confirmed the death of a skateboarder found injured on Hamilton Boulevard on May 2. Gabrielle Plonka/Yukon News
Whitehorse man dies in skateboarding accident

Coroner urges the use of helmets, protective gear, while skateboarding.

The new Yukon Liberal caucus poses for a photo during the swearing-in ceremony held on May 3. (Yukon Government/Submitted)
Liberal cabinet sworn in at legislature before house resumes on May 11

Newly elected MLA Jeremy Harper has been nominated as speaker.

The Yukon Wildlife Preserve’s baby bison, born April 22, mingles with the herd on April 29. (John Tonin/Yukon News)
Yukon Wildlife Preserves welcomes two bison calves

A bison calf was the first 2021 baby born at the Yukon Wildlife Preserve

A map provided by the Yukon government shows the location of unpermitted logging leading to a $2,500 fine. (Courtesy/Yukon government)
Man fined $2,500 for felling trees near Beaver Creek

The incident was investigated by natural resource officers and brought to court.

The site of the Old Crow solar project photographed on Feb. 20. The Vuntut Gwitchin solar project was planned for completion last summer, but delays related to the COVID-19 pandemic pushed it back. (Haley Ritchie/Yukon News)
Old Crow is switching to solar

The first phase of the community’s solar array is already generating power.

Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
One new case of COVID-19 in the Yukon

Case number 82 is the territory’s only active case

Flood and fire risk and potential were discussed April 29. Yukoners were told to be prepared in the event of either a flood or a fire. Submitted Photo/B.C. Wildfire Service
Yukoners told to be prepared for floods and wildland fire season

Floods and fire personelle spoke to the current risks of both weather events in the coming months.

From left to right, Pascale Marceau and Eva Capozzola departed for Kluane National Park on April 12. The duo is the first all-woman expedition to summit Mt. Lucania. (Michael Schmidt/Icefield Discovery)
First all-woman team summits Mt. Lucania

“You have gifted us with a magical journey that we will forever treasure.”

Whitehorse City Hall (Yukon News file)
City news, briefly

Whitehorse goings-on for the week of April 26

The Yukon Department of Education in Whitehorse on Dec. 22, 2020. The department has announced new dates for the 2021/2022 school year. (John Hopkins-Hill/Yukon News file)
Yukon school dates set for 2021/22

The schedule shows classes starting on Aug. 23, 2021 for all Whitehorse schools and in some communities.

Most Read