Governments plan for Carcross development

The Yukon government and the Carcross/Tagish First Nation plan to develop a number of cottage lots in the Southern Lakes region over the next year.

The Yukon government and the Carcross/Tagish First Nation plan to develop a number of cottage lots in the Southern Lakes region over the next year.

That is just one of the areas of development the governments agreed to co-operate on in a memorandum of understanding signed Monday.

Carcross/Tagish First Nation Chief Danny Cresswell said the goal is to create a sustainable economy for the Carcross area.

“There is no real economy there. There’s a little boom and bust for summertime with tourism; we need to look at year-round. We need to look at something that’s a lot more sustainable and something that creates full-time jobs.”

The governments are looking at developing cottage lots on both public land and First Nation settlement land.

The lots will be remote access, meaning that they’ll be accessible by boat, or over ice in the winter.

The plan is to identify the lots on public land by January 31, and release them to the public by lottery in August, 2014.

The governments also agreed to collaborate to find private-sector partners for the proposed Millhaven Bay wilderness tourism development on Bennett Lake.

The First Nation would like to see a $20-30 million, world-class resort on that site, said Cresswell.

It’s a development that the First Nation has been talking about for a long time.

An information pamphlet from February 2010 said that the resort would be open to guests in 2013.

The Yukon government has also agreed to facilitate development along Bennett Beach.

The First Nation plans to build a residential subdivision on that parcel of land, and the project is currently before the Yukon Environmental and Socio-economic Assessment Board.

That plan has drawn criticism from some local residents, who say the development will disrupt the area’s sensitive ecology and local ski trails.

The Yukon government has agreed to make “best efforts” to make a decision on required zoning amendments by February 28, 2014, according to the agreement.

The agreement also indicates that the governments will work on a feasibility study for a public marina in Carcross, and explore the potential of a new campground at the Conrad historic site.

Contact Jacqueline Ronson at jronson@yukon-news.com

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