City of Whitehorse staff will meet with Ta’an Kwachan Council and hope to consult with Kwanlin Dun First Nation also as they proceed with planning for the city’s new Official Community Plan. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)

Public meeting scheduled to discuss Whitehorse’s Official Community Plan

The meeting is happening Aug. 29 from 4 to 7 p.m.

As City of Whitehorse staff get set to update council on the work to draft a new Official Community Plan they are finishing up the final events for the second phase of the planning.

City planner Mike Ellis said in a Aug. 20 interview the city still has a meeting to get input for the plan — Whitehorse 2040 — from the Ta’an Kwach’an Council on Aug. 29 from 4 to 7 p.m. at the Whitehorse Public Library.

While the meeting is being held with the Ta’an Kwach’an Council, Ellis said it is open to all who want to attend.

“It is a public meeting,” he said.

They are also hoping to schedule a similar session with members of the Kwanlin Dun First Nation.

Efforts are also underway with an organization made up of representatives with the Yukon Anti-Poverty Coalition and those involved with the Safe At Home plan to get input from more marginalized people who may not have taken part in the earlier survey or other input sessions.

The OCP acts as a guide for planning throughout the city, with the next plan to look 20 years into the future.

Ellis stressed the importance of reaching the city’s entire population as planning is done for the future. The next OCP is set to look at where the next major development will be after Whistle Bend is built out as well as explore other planning issues.

More than 700 people responded to the survey in Phase 1 with most taking an average of 17 minutes to complete it online, Ellis said.

Many spoke to the ongoing growth expected for the city, arguing they expect that to continue, and highlighted the need to plan for that.

“We need to be proactive,” Ellis said, adding it has been good to see the interest and strong feedback from Whitehorse residents.

That said, officials want to ensure everyone in Whitehorse has the opportunity to speak to Whitehorse’s future and thus the city is reaching out to a number of organizations before it moves on to Phase 2.

Ellis said an update will be provided to council members at a council and senior management session on Sept. 5.

He is hopeful the city will have gathered all the input it’s looking for in the fall — likely October or November — when it will begin creating the plan based on the input.

“We’re trying to be flexible,” Ellis said of when the city will start looking at creating a draft plan, stressing the importance of trying to get all the input it can ahead of moving on to the next phase.

“There still needs to be a wrap up (of Phase 2),” he said.

It’s expected the final plan would come forward in the new year with city council then moving forward with adoption. That process also includes a public process where residents can let council know what they think of the proposed plan.

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

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