City planner Mike Ellis speaks during a meeting in Whitehorse on September 12, 2019. Ellis spoke to city councillors on June 23 regarding the rezoning of a 4.5-hectare piece of land in the Whitehorse Copper area that would allow Pelly Construction to move forward with plans to move its operations to the area. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)

Rezoning proposed for heavy industrial lot

Change would allow for office to be built

The rezoning of a 4.5-hectare piece of land in the Whitehorse Copper area would allow Pelly Construction to move forward with plans to move its operations to the area.

The proposal that would see the property rezoned from Heavy Industrial to Service Industrial was brought forward at Whitehorse city council’s June 23 meeting.

As city planner Mike Ellis explained: “The company is proposing to construct a 9,204 square foot three-storey office building with 13 enclosed office spaces and several open areas proposed for use by roughly 18 employees.

“The company is also seeking to build a shop with a wash bay for use by roughly four employees (design is undetermined).”

The Heavy Industrial zoning, however, does not allow for offices. Pelly’s owner, Kalogen Corporation, is therefore asking for the zoning change to allow for an office as a secondary use, which is permitted in the Service Industrial zone.

A roadway at the northeast corner of the lot that is set to be retired is also proposed to be zoned from Greenbelt to Service Industrial.

While a number of concerns were brought up by the city’s development review committee, it was also noted some have been addressed and others are being resolved through other government bodies.

“Notably, the applicant is in discussions with the Government of Yukon Highways and Public Works department regarding safety issues raised for the access road connecting the property to the Alaska Highway.

“The access currently intersects with the highway at an ~45° angle. YG has requested realignment to create a 90° intersection for safer turning access onto/from the highway.

“This work would occur on YG-owned land and may require review as per the Yukon Environmental and Socio-economic Act.”

Water supply may also be an issue that would be dealt with through the Yukon Water Board and there would also need to be confirmation of a fire suppression system that meets National Building Code requirements.

As Ellis pointed out though: “These issues are not directly related to the requested change in zone and can continue to be addressed through the development permit process.”

Coun. Laura Cabott noted the application is coming forward, and council has not yet seen a draft of the industrial land use study city staff have been working on.

She indicated she would like to see a draft of the study soon before voting on the potential rezoning in an industrial area.

Council is expected to vote on first reading June 29. If that’s approved, a public hearing would be held at counicil’s July 27 meeting. A report on the hearing would follow on Aug. 3 with the final two readings of the rezoning coming forward Aug. 10.

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

Whitehorse city council

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