Whitehorse city council heard from David Borud on Nov. 18, a developer planning to build a seniors housing facility at 468 Range Rd. and is requesting some zoning changes to accommodate his plans. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)

Seniors housing developer asks for parking considerations

Public hearing would be held in January

Developers of a proposed seniors housing facility on Range Road are asking Whitehorse city council for a zoning amendment that would allow for less parking and a boundary realignment.

The proposal came forward to council at its Nov. 18 meeting with project proponent David Borud detailing the plans and explaining why the zoning changes are being sought.

The plans would first see a five-storey, 84-unit building at 468 Range Rd. that would feature a commercial kitchen, courtyard and space for on-site services for seniors living there.

Borud argued there’s currently a gap in the seniors housing market for those who may no longer want or be unable to keep up with the demands of their own home, but are not ready for continuing care. The new building would provide assisted living services, where seniors could continue to live independently in their own units with some services provided. Future expansion of the development would see a four-storey independent living seniors apartment building.

Speaking first to the request for the parking requirement to decrease from one parking space for every two units to one parking space for every four units, Borud explained that many of the building’s tenants are not likely to be driving and therefore the building will not need the number of parking spaces required under the current zoning.

Borud was also quick to note the facility will be on a transit route.

In a report to council on the request, city planning manager Mélodie Simard also highlighted transit options with the site 150 m from a transit stop (though the city will be looking at the transit system next year which could lead to changes to some stops) and also highlighted the handy bus and other private transportation options residents may choose.

“Increasing density near services/transit/major transportation connections is consistent with sustainable planning practice,” she said. “More people living in an area increase viability of commercial operations and municipal transit service. The OCP (Official Community Plan) states that the city shall promote a compact development pattern orientated towards transit and active transportation. Given the close proximity of this site to downtown and the ease of access to public service, applying the downtown parking requirement to this site can be justified.”

For this project, developers are asking the city to amend the zoning to be in line with downtown parking requirements for supportive living faculties.

The parking proposal, however, raised some questions for Coun. Jan Stick, who pointed out the facility would likely have a number of staff working in areas like the kitchen and noted the possibility of home-care workers coming in to help out some residents who could need parking.

That had her questioning whether one spot for every four units (21 parking spots in total if the development goes ahead as planned) would be enough to accommodate those working at the building and what alternatives there would be if no on-site parking was available. Simard responded that typically when no on-site parking is available, drivers park on adjacent streets.

Simard also said she looked at other areas and learned the one parking spot per four units is more parking than similar facilities have elsewhere in the country.

Meanwhile, after purchasing both 468 Range Rd. and 25 Rhine Way behind it, Borud said a boundary realignment to increase the Range Road lot from its current 3,708 square meters to 4,265 square metres into a portion of the Rhine Way property is being put forward to make room for parking, waste receptacles, a green energy generation plant for the development and propane tanks.

Coun. Dan Boyd declared a conflict on the issue and left the room during Borud’s presentation and discussion on the request.

Members will vote on first reading of the proposed changes Nov. 25. If first reading is approved a public hearing will be held Jan. 13 and a report on the hearing would be presented at council’s Feb. 3 meeting with second and third reading being voted on Feb. 10.

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

Housing

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Arrest made in 2019 Ross River murder

Phillip Atkinson, 63, has been charged with first-degree murder in the death of Mary Ann Ollie

Brother of slain Carmacks man wants review of Yukon justice system

Lennie Charlie’s brother, Wilfred “Dickie” Charlie, was killed by Mario and Tyler Skookum in 2017

Council turns down zoning amendment

Property owners will not be permitted to add a suite to their RR-zoned home

Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in issues voluntary closure on fall chum fishing

The closure comes during the worst fall chum run on record

Yukon government will fund one type of glucose monitors for adults

The Yukon T1D Support Network says coverage needs to go further

Lawsuit against Freedom Trails settled

The suit was dismissed with consent of all parties

Tank farm takes another step towards development

OCP designation passes second reading

Climate change strategy targets 30 per cent reduction in territory greenhouse gases by 2030

The strategy includes rebates for electric vehicles but puts off mining targets for two years

Watson Lake to hold mayoral byelection

Residents of Watson Lake will elect a new mayor on Oct. 8.… Continue reading

Teslin Tlingit Council elects chief, deputy chief

Teslin Tlingit Council citizens have elected Eric Morris as the new Naa Sháade Háni

Yukon Party nominates Dixon for Copperbelt North

The new leader was previously the MLA for the riding

Teslin Tlingit Council to hold election

Election day is Sept. 15, 2020

City hall, briefly

A look at decisions made by Whitehorse city council this week

Most Read