A vehicle is seen along Mt. Sima Road in Whitehorse on May 12. Whitehorse city council is hearing differing views for the proposed rezoning of a 1.02-hectare area in the Mount Sima subdivision. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)

Mount Sima rezoning could lead to lot expansions

Support and opposition expressed during public hearing

Whitehorse city council is seeing both support and opposition to the proposed rezoning of a 1.02-hectare area in the Mount Sima subdivision.

The rezoning of the land is proposed to allow for an eventual expansion of the three properties in front and would see the site moved from a greenbelt zone to a service industrial zone.

Five written submissions were posted to the city’s website for the public hearing on the proposed zoning change at council’s May 11 meeting with three in favour and two opposed.

Due to COVID-19, the public is not permitted to be inside council chambers. Instead, written submissions are being accepted for public hearings with those submissions being available for viewing on the city’s website.

In this case five written submissions were posted to the city website, three of which expressed support for the zoning change and the plan that will allow for rear lot enlargements for three properties along that stretch of Mount Sima Road.

As Brian McDougall stated in his submission, he wants to continue developing his site and that will require having room for drainage at the back of the property.

“I fully support the proposed lot expansions as indicated in City of Whitehorse letter dated April 15, 2020 shown below,” he stated. “This allows for continued unencumbered use of the trail which is west of this proposed rezone area.”

The city had been considering a larger area for the lot enlargements two years ago, but the idea was sent back to staff for further work after concerns were expressed over impacts to the nearby trail.

The smaller area up for rezoning would see the lot expansion remain away from the trail.

Jeanine Baker, however, continues to have concerns over the trail and highlighted them in her letter to council.

She noted the trail is used by both those who live in the area and others who drive there to take in the scenery of the area.

She went on to argue there’s already room on area properties for further work without having to expand at the rear.

“There is a building visible from the area, and I feel that this is one area that needs further consideration,” she wrote. “Wildlife uses that area extensively as well.”

While lot expansions elsewhere in the city have been acceptable due to their locations, in this case they aren’t appropriate, Baker said.

“This proposal just doesn’t fit with the existing uses of the area,” she wrote.

Another writer, whose name was not listed, argued while there is demand for more industrial lots this won’t ease that demand.

“The lots in question show no signs of being used to their maximum,” it was noted. “I see no need for the rezoning of the subject area.”

Shawn Ralston and Marc Goudreau each also provided short submissions emphasizing their support for the rezoning.

“We are not opposed to this extension and believe it would make good use of this otherwise unusable area,” Roulston, of 535459 Yukon Inc., wrote.

A summary report on the public hearing will be presented at council’s June 1 meeting with second and third reading of the rezoning coming forward June 15.

Contact Stephanie Waddell at stephanie.waddell@yukon-news.com

RezoningWhitehorse city council

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