Aerial image of the Copper Ridge subdivision taken in 2011. (Ian Stewart/Yukon News file)

Neighbours slam proposed Copper Ridge townhouses

Property values, parking cited as cause for concern

A delegate at the June 11 regular council meeting didn’t mince words over his feelings about a proposed townhouse complex at 51 Keewenaw Drive, calling it a potential “eyesore.”

Corey Kisser, who lives near the lot in Copper Ridge, said he’s seen renderings of the building and they’re not much to look at.

“It’s going to be quite crowded, (it will) quite look out of place compared to the rest of the neighbourhood,” said Kisser. “And it’s definitely a concern that it’s going to reduce our property values, with that many housing units packed right in there.”

“There’s definitely a concern about that, that it’s going to lower our prices for our houses and our investments there. That it’s basically going to be an eyesore for the community.”

Kisser was speaking during a public hearing about the complex, which would consist of 10 units on a 3,600 square-metre lot on Keewenaw Drive.

He said he doesn’t have a problem with development, but would prefer to see the lot divided into space for single-family homes or duplexes rather than a multi-unit complex, which he feels will stick out in the neighborhood.

Kisser was followed by Sandra Markman, another Copper Ridge resident, who said her concerns had less to do with property values than proper planning.

“When I last lived in Canada, I lived across the street from low-income housing, so I’m not a bigot and I’m not a person who says ‘only suburban people should live where we live,’” she told council.

Markman said the proposal for the complex shows a lack of understanding of the neighbourhood. She said this is evidenced by the fact there’s no parking located onsite, and the report references on-street parking and bus service as options for residents.

She said 10 units could mean as many as 20 additional cars on the street.

Markman wanted to know where they would plug in their cars during the winter.

She called the report on the property “half-baked.”

“When I read in a report that ‘no worries, there’s bus service on Keewenaw,’ I scratch my head because I live on Keewenaw. There’s a bus. It’s on Northstar. It goes once an hour.”

In addition to the two speakers, there were nine written submissions. One supported the project, six were against, and two raised concerns.

The property is owned by developer Patrick McLarnon, who applied, in April 2018, to have it re-zoned from CN (neighbourhood commercial) to RM (residential multiple housing) to allow for the complex. No issues were raised during the April meeting of the development review committee.

The lot is in an area that the official community plan designates residential-urban.

The administrative report on it says “the purpose of this designation ‘is to allow for a variety of serviced residential development in close proximity to services and amenities.’”

It further states that it encourages developing “complete communities, which includes provisions for the basic services that residents need to live, work, and play in their day-to-day lives. Building complete communities also means providing variety in the mix of housing types available in neighbourhoods in order to meet a variety of housing preferences and needs.”

The issue will come up again at the standing committees meeting on June 18.

Contact Amy Kenny at amy.kenny@yukon-news.com

Copper RidgeNIMBYismReal estateWhitehorse city council

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