A house sits on the property at 1308 Centennial St., next to a new development at 1306 in Porter Creek in Whitehorse on Nov. 3. A public hearing will be held Nov. 23 on the proposed rezoning of 1308 Centennial St. from residential single zone to muli-residential zone. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)

A house sits on the property at 1308 Centennial St., next to a new development at 1306 in Porter Creek in Whitehorse on Nov. 3. A public hearing will be held Nov. 23 on the proposed rezoning of 1308 Centennial St. from residential single zone to muli-residential zone. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)

Public hearing set on proposed rezoning

Change for 1308 Centennial St. passes first reading

A public hearing will be held Dec. 7 on the proposed rezoning of 1308 Centennial St.

At its Nov. 9 meeting, Whitehorse city council passed first reading of the bylaw, which would see the property change from its current residential single zone to a residential multiple housing zone.

Coun. Samson Hartland registered the lone vote against first reading, arguing the need for a neighbourhood plan for the area before any more rezoning happens.

If approved, the owner is planning to build an eight-unit housing development on the site.

Following the Dec. 7 public hearing, a report will come forward to council with second reading then coming forward in January.

The property is next door to a nine-unit apartment building built this year after that lot was rezoned for multiple residential housing in 2019, also from the residential single zone.

That building was constructed with a 13-metre height limit put in place, rather than the usual 15 m the zone typically allows, due to concerns coming out of the public hearing held on that rezoning.

It’s proposed the same 13 m height limit along with a maximum of nine units (though eight are planned) be in place should the rezoning for 1308 Centennial St. move forward.

“In order to limit the number of exception zones, it is proposed that 1308 Centennial St. be re-designated with the same zoning as the adjacent 1306 Centennial St. — Residential Multiple Housing (modified) with the special modifications being that the maximum height is restricted to 13 m and maximum density restricted to nine units,” planning manager Mélodie Simard stated in an earlier report to council. “Council may also consider rezoning the parcel to RM(x) – Residential Multiple Housing with one special modification being that maximum density be restricted to 60 units/ha or 11 units as allowed in the OCP policy 6.5.5.”

In arguing against first reading, Hartland highlighted the numerous changes that have allowed for denser housing in the area, pointing out that no recent traffic study of Centennial Street has been done even as a number of new, higher-density housing developments have been established in recent years.

Until a comprehensive neighbourhood plan is done for the area, he said he would have difficulty supporting any further rezonings there and voted against first reading.

In her earlier report, Simard noted that, in addition to the multi-residential property at 1306 Centennial, the site up for rezoning is bordered by residential single properties on the other side and behind it.

“On the opposite side of this lot on Centennial Street is mixed-use zoning that contains several businesses. There is also another multi-family development within 150 m of the subject lot on Centennial Street,” Simard said.

Her report also pointed out the lot is close to various amenities including city transit stops, a grocery store, Jack Hulland Elementary School and nearby trails.

The proposed zoning would also require one parking space per unit, plus one visitor-parking stall for every seven units.

Due to COVID-19, no in-person presentations can be made for public hearings. Instead, residents are asked to provide their comments in writing by the public hearing deadline to publicinput@whitehorse.ca by the Dec. 7 deadline.

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

Housing crisisWhitehorse city councilzoning