A multi-unit building being constructed at the corner of Keewenaw and North Star Drive in Whitehorse on Sept. 3. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)

Developer proposes new plan for Copper Ridge property

Developer seeks city’s cash for a new 12-unit housing project

The developer of a proposed 12-unit housing structure in Copper Ridge could receive up to $500,000 in incentives over the next decade.

City planner Mike Ellis brought forward a recommendation at Whitehorse city council’s Sept. 3 meeting that council approve a major development incentive for the building at 51 Keewenaw Drive.

The property was the subject of controversy last year when owner Patrick McLarnon sought to have the site rezoned for multi-residential development. At that time, McLarnon was proposing to build 10 townhouse units over the 3,600 square metre site.

The rezoning went ahead despite extensive opposition by neighbouring property owners, who argued the plans didn’t fit in with the character of the area and pointed to the potential for parking and traffic problems.

The new plans would see 12 one-bedroom rental units built inside a two-storey building.

It’s not clear why the plans have since changed, but Ellis confirmed a development permit has been issued for the 12-unit building which would allow construction to begin.

Under the city’s development incentive policy — aimed at encouraging certain developments including rental housing — major development incentives grant up to $500,000 over a maximum of 10 years.

In this case it’s not expected the grant would meet the maximum.

“The proposed development is not expected to generate enough new taxes to exceed the $500,000 cumulative per year per organization limit as specified in the City Grant-Making Policy,” Ellis stated in his report to council.

The annual amount a developer receives, and is applied to property taxes owed, is based on the tax increases that come with improvements to the property from the development.

The rental units must be maintained as long-term rentals for a minimum of 10 years, with the incentive agreement specifically stating the units cannot be used as short-term rentals. If the units are not kept as long-term rentals for the decade, McLarnon would be on the hook to pay back all the grant funds provided.

“This project conforms to all city zoning and building regulations and meets the criteria for a major development incentive,” Ellis said.

While recognizing “rental housing is sorely needed”, Coun. Steve Roddick wondered if the city should look more at encouraging higher density development closer to services like grocery stores. He questioned whether that would be dealt with in upcoming city policies the city is working on like the new Official Community Plan and an update to the incentive policy being looked at.

Ellis noted that neither plan is complete with work continuing on both.

Council members will vote on the incentive Sept. 9.

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

HousingWhitehorse city council

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

Just Posted

Maria Metzen off the start line of the Yukon Dog Mushers Association’s sled dog race on Jan. 9. (Gabrielle Plonka/Yukon News)
Mushers race in preparation for FirstMate Babe Southwick

The annual race is set for Feb. 12 and 13.

The Yukon government is making changes to the medical travel system, including doubling the per diem and making destinations for medical services more flexible. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
Subsidy for medical travel doubled with more supports coming

The change was recommended in the Putting People First report endorsed by the government

Chloe Sergerie, who was fined $500 under the <em>Civil Emergency Measures Act</em> on Jan. 12, says she made the safest choice available to her when she entered the territory. (Mike Thomas/Yukon News file)
Woman fined $500 under CEMA says she made ‘safest decision’ available

Filling out a declaration at the airport was contrary to self-isolation, says accused

The Yukon Department of Education building in Whitehorse on Dec. 22, 2020. Advocates are calling on the Department of Education to reverse their redefinition of Individualized Education Plans (IEPs) that led to 138 students losing the program this year. (John Hopkins-Hill/Yukon News file)
Advocates call redefinition of IEPs “hugely concerning,” call for reversal

At least 138 students were moved off the learning plans this year

Yukonomist Keith Halliday
Yukonomist: Your Northern regulatory adventure awaits!

“Your Northern adventure awaits!” blared the headline on a recent YESAB assessment… Continue reading

Yukoner Shirley Chua-Tan is taking on the role of vice-chair of the social inclusion working group with the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences’ oversight panel and working groups for the autism assessment. (Submitted)
Canadian Academy of Health Sciences names Yukoner to panel

Shirley Chua-Tan is well-known for a number of roles she plays in… Continue reading

The Fish Lake area viewed from the top of Haeckel Hill on Sept. 11, 2018. The Yukon government and Kwanlin Dün First Nation (KDFN) announced they are in the beginning stages of a local area planning process for the area. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Local area planning for Fish Lake announced

The Government of Yukon and Kwanlin Dün First Nation (KDFN) announced in… Continue reading

Whitehorse City Hall. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
City hall, briefly

A look at decisions made by Whitehorse city council this week

Fire damage, photographed on Jan. 11, to a downtown apartment building which occurred late in the evening on Jan. 8. Zander Firth, 20, from Inuvik, was charged with the arson and is facing several other charges following his Jan. 12 court appearance. (Gabrielle Plonka/Yukon News)
More charges for arson suspect

The Inuvik man charged in relation to the fire at Ryder Apartments… Continue reading

The grace period for the new Yukon lobbyist registry has come to an end and those who seek to influence politicians will now need to report their efforts to a public database. (Mike Thomas/Yukon News file)
Grace period for new lobbyist registry ends

So far nine lobbyists have registered their activities with politicians in the territory

The Government of Yukon Main Administration Building in Whitehorse on Aug. 21, 2020. Some Yukon tourism and culture non-profit organizations may be eligible to receive up to $20,000 to help recover from losses due to the COVID-19 pandemic. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Details released on relief funding for tourism and culture non-profits

Some Yukon tourism and culture non-profit organizations may be eligible to receive… Continue reading

Most Read