Horse association move inches along

The Yukon Horse and Rider Association took one step closer to relocating to the old Klondike Motorways Association Speedway Monday night.

The Yukon Horse and Rider Association took one step closer to relocating to the old Klondike Motorways Association Speedway Monday night.

A bylaw passed first reading unanimously to allow a road to connect Sockeye Place to the speedway and develop four or five country-residential lots along the road.

The association needs to move because their current property is in one of the later phases of Whistle Bend. Once construction begins, it won’t have a space to hold its horse shows and clinics.

In October, city council gave its conditional approval to use the old speedway site. It is large enough for the events, and there’s already road access from the Alaska Highway. But at the last minute, the Yukon government decided the access road has poor sight lines and is unsafe.

Right now, the Yukon government owns the 24-hectare area between Cowley Creek and Mary Lake. It is marked for future development.

The city planning department wants to change the Official Community Plan so they can build a road through Sockeye Place to the speedway. To pay for road construction, administration wants to have four or five new country-residential properties developed in the area.

Last week, residents expressed concerns that increased traffic flow through the neighbourhood would disrupt their peace and quiet.

On Monday night, Coun. Betty Irwin called the government’s decision to say that part of the road isn’t safe “distressing.” The association provides a “very, very important initiative” to the community, she said, saying the sport is just as important as skiing or dog mushing.

A public meeting will be held at Golden Horn Elementary School on Feb. 28, and at the March 25 council meeting. At the latest, the bylaw could pass on June 30.

If it passes, the land would need to be transferred from the Yukon government to the city. Zoning changes will be needed, and the Yukon Environmental and Socio-economic Assessment Board needs to review the project. The soonest the association could move to the new site would be in the fall or winter of 2014.