Coun. Dan Boyd understands resident concerns about development design for a proposed townhouse complex in Cooper Ridge. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)

‘Eyesore’ townhouses rile Copper Ridge residents

‘Concern was raised for the unattractive buildings portrayed’

Some Whitehorse residents are hung up on the design of a proposed 10-unit townhouse complex at 51 Keewenaw Drive.

On June 18, Melodie Simard, manager of planning and sustainability with the City of Whitehorse, presented council with public feedback on the proposal, which requires an amendment to be re-zoned from CN (neighbourhood commercial) to RM (residential multiple housing).

“Concern was raised for the unattractive buildings portrayed,” reads the report, though it also went on to state the renderings are “a useful tool for assessing the proposed scale and massing of the intended development, but should not be considered a final design.”

Coun. Dan Boyd said he was surprised at the amount of feedback the application has received.

At the June 11 council meeting, two delegates spoke to council opposing the project, with one of them calling the building an “eyesore.”

As well, nine written submissions were received by the city. One was neutral, one was in support, and seven either raised concerns or were opposed to the development. Reasons included loss of the commercial space the lot was originally zoned for, a lack of onsite parking, increased traffic and reduced property values.

The letter supporting the project said the townhouse complex would add attractive, dense and affordable units to the neighbourhood, and help the area grow.

On June 18, Boyd agreed the renderings do look like a collection of coloured boxes.

Coun. Betty Irwin wondered aloud if there are any architects in the world with a degree of imagination and, if so, why that doesn’t “trickle up to Whitehorse.”

Boyd asked Simard if it was possible to determine design before zoning changes are approved.

Simard said there are some design criteria for multiple housing units. That criteria states the facade must incorporate at least two of four features including a primary building entrance, front porch and/or balconies, variation in facade depth, and variation in siding and trims material and/or colour.

Boyd said it would be nice to have some sense of what the architecture will look like. Otherwise, he said, people have to take it on faith that the guidelines in place will produce something nice.

“Those renderings are actually a disservice to what might be built there,” said Boyd.

“We can do much better it’s just that this isn’t the juncture at which we decide.”

Mayor Dan Curtis pointed out that it’s not council’s place to tell developers what colour to paint their developments.

“I’m feeling kind of weirded out because I think if … we drive through our community, there’s definitely architectural buildings that I’m happy with and some that I think are not my tastes … if you ask 10 people what they think about my house, I’m sure nine of them would think it’s ugly and one, like my wife, might think it’s beautiful.”

The amendment will proceed to second and third reading on June 25.

Contact Amy Kenny at amy.kenny@yukon-news.com

Just Posted

VIDEO: Whitehorse resident turns 100

Olive Patton celebrated earlier this month

Hospital cancels Whitehorse woman’s surgery 45 minutes beforehand

Patricia Nowell-Lindquist had changed into a gown and was fully prepped when she was told the news

UPDATED: Cross Country Yukon starts GoFundMe campaign for stolen pump

The theft means snowmaking is on hold until a replacement is found

Rams, Crusaders continue Super Volley winning streaks

Vanier secures first overall in boys standings

Commentary: Does Yukon need a United Way?

“The reason we ask is that we may not be sustainable”

Whitehorse FC sides impress at B.C. tournaments

Four teams, four tournaments, only one loss

Yukon soccer teams represent at Canada Soccer National Championships U15 Cup

“Everybody brought their game to a totally new level and set a (new) bar”

Yukonomist: The greying of the Yukon

It’s the kind of thing you might see in a society that suffered a major war twenty years ago

History Hunter: New book honours fallen Yukoners of World War I

The book introduces the story of Yukon’s wartime involvement and describes heroic contributions

U Kon Echelon holds weekend mountain bike racing camp in Whitehorse

“It’s incredible the changes I’m seeing from when we started in September to now”

Liberals to scope out ‘efficiencies’ in departments

The premier was asked about ostensible reductions to department budgets at question period

You and your new car warranty

There are some things that may put your new vehicle or extended warranty at risk

Most Read