Greenspace on the chopping block

Whitehorse is pushing ahead with plans to demolish greenspace in Porter Creek and Crestview to make room for more housing. The small developments, called infills, would be slotted beside existing developments.

Whitehorse is pushing ahead with plans to demolish greenspace in Porter Creek and Crestview to make room for more housing.

The small developments, called infills, would be slotted beside existing developments. If all goes smoothly, between 18 to 27 new lots could be up for lottery by late summer or early autumn of this year.

City planners will hold a public meeting on February 2 at Jack Hulland School to showcase proposed infill designs, answer questions and listen to comments.

The meeting will likely pit those who treasure the peace, privacy and higher property values nearby greenspace offers them, against those concerned by the growing affects of the city’s acute housing shortage. Young couples find first homes increasingly out of reach, there’s slim pickings for renters and a city with a labour shortage has trouble recruiting new hires if there’s nowhere to live.

Infills are the cheap and quick solution to Whitehorse’s lot shortage because of their proximity to existing roads and utility pipes. They’re meant to serve as a stopgap until Whitehorse’s next big, new neighbourhood, Whistle Bend, is complete in the autumn of 2012.

The proposed infills sparked protests the moment they were announced last spring.

Riverdale residents deplore how one small development, between Boswell and Firth, may scare away songbirds, lower nearby property values and perhaps even mess up the city’s water reservoir. This project is on hold, at least for the year, until studies of the city wellheads and Riverdale traffic are complete.

Porter Creek residents have also balked at the plan to build beyond 12th Avenue and Centennial Street, objecting that it would require blasting to install sewage and water pipes, and that these explosions, done improperly, could damage homes.

Other in-fills are proposed in Porter Creek along 14th Avenue, near the Guild Hall, as well as along Boxwood Crescent and at the end of Elm Street.

Crestview’s infill would be built near the junction of Rainbow Road and Klukshu Avenue.

While specifics aren’t on offer before the meeting, planners say the density of each infill is meant to match the surrounding neighbourhood.

Council has told planners to suss out where the public stands on these developments, but zoning and subdivision decisions have yet to be made. That means there should be many more meetings to come. Planners hope to wrap-up consultations and begin developing by May.

But, with work on Whistle Bend underway, it may be tough finding enough contractors to do the work on schedule, warned Mike Gau, manager of planning.

Planners still have their eyes on two other developments, which are deemed to be too complicated to pursue immediately. One would be built downtown near Fifth Avenue and Rogers Street. The other is a contentious plan to build in the Porter Creek D area, within McIntyre Creek, which conservationists consider to be a crucial animal corridor.

The meeting will be on February 2 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. inside Jack Hulland school’s gym.

Contact John Thompson at

johnt@yukon-news.com.

Just Posted

Whether the dust jacket of this historical novel is the Canadian version (left) or the American (right), the readable content within is the same. (Michael Gates)
History Hunter: New novel a gripping account of the gold rush

Stampede: Gold Fever and Disaster in the Klondike is an ‘enjoyable and readable’ account of history

Yukonomist Keith Halliday
Yukonomist: Your furnace and your truck need to go

Perhaps the biggest commitment in the NDP deal with the Liberals was boosting the Yukon’s climate target

Awaken Festival organizers Meredith Pritchard, Colin Wolf, Martin Nishikawa inside the Old Firehall in Whitehorse on May 11. (Haley Ritchie/Yukon News)
Performing arts fest plans to awaken artistic talent in Whitehorse and the rural North

‘A value of ours is to make theatre as accessible as possible.’

April Mikkelsen tosses a disc during a ladies only disc golf tournament at Solstice DiscGolfPark on May 8. John Tonin/Yukon News
Yukon sees its first-ever women’s disc golf tournament

The Professional Disc Golf Assocation had a global women’s event last weekend. In the Yukon, a women’s only tournament was held for the first time ever.

Dave Blottner, executive director at the Whitehorse Food Bank, said the food bank upped its services because of the pandemic. (John Tonin/Yukon News)
Food Bank sees Yukoners’ generosity firsthand

“Businesses didn’t know if they could stay open but they were calling us to make sure we were able to stay open.”

A prescribed burn is seen from the lookout at Range Road and Whistle Bend Way in Whitehorse May 12. (Stephanie Waddell/Yukon News)
Editorial: Are you ready for a forest fire?

Citizens for a Firesmart Whitehorse have listed some steps for Yukoners to boost safety and awareness

Caribou pass through the Dempster Highway area in their annual migration. A recent decision by the privacy commissioner has recommended the release of some caribou collar re-location data. (Justin Kennedy/Yukon News)
Privacy commissioner recommends release of caribou location data

Department of Environment says consultation with its partners needed before it will consider release

Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
Family pleased youth will be able to get Pfizer vaccine

Angela Drainville, mother of two, is anxious for a rollout plan to come forward

Safe at home office in Whitehorse on May 10, 2021. (John Tonin/Yukon News)
Federal government provides $1.6 million for Yukon anti-homelessness work

Projects including five mobile homes for small communities received funding.

Drilling at Northern Tiger’s 3Ace gold project in 2011. Randi Newton argues that mining in the territory can be reshaped. (Yukon government/file)
Editorial: There’s momentum for mining reform

CPAWS’ Randi Newton argues that the territory’s mining legislations need a substantial overhaul

At its May 10 meeting, Whitehorse city council approved the subdivision for the Kwanlin Dün First Nation’s business park planned in Marwell. (Submitted)
KDFN business park subdivision approved

Will mean more commercial industrial land available in Whitehorse

Main Street in Whitehorse on May 4. Whitehorse city council has passed the first two readings of a bylaw to allow pop-up patios in city parking spaces. Third reading will come forward later in May. (Stephanie Waddell/Yukon News)
Whitehorse council pursuing restaurant patio possibilities

Council passes first two readings for new patio bylaw

Most Read