One more delay in release of OCP

Expect another delay in the release of the 2009 Official Community Plan for Whitehorse.

Expect another delay in the release of the 2009 Official Community Plan for Whitehorse.

The document, which acts as the city’s land-use master plan upon which all zoning decisions are based, was intended to be released before the municipal election this fall.

Then it was supposed to be released to the public in early December.

But at a council and senior management meeting this week, council decided to delay its release until at least January.

“If it weren’t for the election we’d be further forward in the process,” said senior planner Mike Ellis, who explained that having a new council has meant introducing the plan to a new set of people, which takes time.

Another reason for the delay is that the planning department decided to include a greenspace network plan into the document.

The network plan will provide a more comprehensive overview of protected spaces within Whitehorse.

“We heard from the public that they wanted to see greater clarity in what a protected area means, so essentially what you can and can’t do in that area,” he said.

“We had aimed to create (the network plan) for 2015, but there was strong support to see it sooner,” said Ellis.

One of the things the greenspace network plan is expected to address is the controversial issue of mineral staking within the city limits. It’s an issue that the Mount McIntyre ski club has long rallied against.

The

2009 Official Community Plan will be the only time – until the next rewrite of the plan five years from now – that citizens will have the ability to provide input into the protection of green spaces like the Mount McIntyre ski trails.

Once council has adopted the plan, citizens can only apply to amend land they privately own, not government-owned parcels of space, said Ellis.

Next Thursday, council and senior management will meet again to discuss the Official Community Plan. Parts of the document will be released to the public that day.

Contact Vivian Belik at vivianb@yukon-news.com