Faro lot subdivided, awaiting rezoning

Faro is moving forward with the rezoning and sale of its controversial daycare lot. The lot and building, which has not been used as a daycare since 2006, was recently assessed at $80,000.

Faro is moving forward with the rezoning and sale of its controversial daycare lot.

The lot and building, which has not been used as a daycare since 2006, was recently assessed at $80,000.

The town has subdivided the lot, and is trying to sell the empty section for $20,000 to the RCMP for housing.

The other section of the lot will be sold, house included, for just $10,009.12 to Kerry and Helen Wagantall.

Kerry is a town employee and Helen is the sister of councillor Diana Rogerson.

The town had put in an application to have Lot 116 on Dawson Drive subdivided three months ago.

The application was conditionally approved by land-use planners on Monday.

Communications representatives from Energy Mines and Resources did not respond to the News to discuss this approval before press time.

A zoning amendment is now the only thing keeping the town from selling the lots – both are currently zoned for community use and need to be residential.

In the meantime, Public Works Canada, which will be buying half the property on behalf of the RCMP, is pressing the town for an interim licence agreement, according to the CAO’s report on Tuesday.

The town has advised public works that it can’t do this, but will follow due process in rezoning the lots, which will likely be another three to four weeks time.

Public works wants an offer-to-sell agreement as soon as possible.

On Wednesday, the town advertised a special council meeting for 2 p.m. Friday to begin rezoning the lot to low-density residential from community use.

A strikingly similar bylaw to amend the lot’s zoning was first raised during a council meeting on January 19.

During that public hearing, several citizens challenged the way the sale was handled.

As a result, council shelved its two bylaws to change the zoning and sell the lot.

The meeting dragged on until midnight and then went in camera where CAO Rose Price, who handled the sale, was handed a suspension letter.

The CAO had not given council timely information and violated procedures, Mayor Heather Campbell wrote in the suspension letter.

The letter also mentioned “questionable hiring practices and the supply of incorrect information to the residents of Faro.”

It’s unclear whether the town is legally able to reintroduce a bill to rezone the daycare lot.

Faro’s bylaws prohibit the reconsideration of a proposed amendment if it had been rejected within the previous 12 months.

So, because the original zoning amendment was not introduced after being advertised and discussed at a public hearing, it may be considered rejected. If so, council would have to wait until January to reintroduce the bylaw.

Issues such as this, as well as conflict of interest, are left up to the municipalities, according to Christine Smith, the acting director of community affairs.

Community affairs only provides support to municipalities.

“In this situation we would say, maybe this is a situation where you need to seek legal advice,” said Smith.

Since Wednesday, Mayor Heather Campbell has not responded to phone calls made to the town office, her home and via e-mail.

Contact Chris Oke at

chriso@yukon-news.com