City councillors were surprised March 19, after hearing the price of two new lots opening up in the Mary Lake subdivision. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)

‘Sticker shock’ on new lots surprises Whitehorse councillors

Mary Lake lots valuaed at $250k each

Whitehorse city councillors were surprised by the price of two new lots the city is putting up for sale in Mary Lake.

The lots, located on Fireweed Drive, measure 1.36 and 1.38 hectares. Both were valued at $230,000 through market appraisal.

The lots need servicing, including power and telecommunications, which requires an amendment to the capital budget of $250,000.

“I gotta admit I had a little bit of sticker shock when I saw the market price on these lots,” said Coun. Samson Hartland at council on March 19.

“I know when council approved the zoning amendments (in 2017 from non-residential to residential), it was under the auspices that we’d be creating more affordable housing into the marketplace,” said Hartland. “I get that there’s, you know, a movement within the market trajectory, people buying these lots to open up other properties, but still, at $230,000, I find that quite surprising.”

Coun. Betty Irwin said she was also shocked.

“Further down (the report) we have that this supports one of our strategic priorities for affordable housing and I’m sorry, I cannot see that this qualifies in any way for affordable housing,” said Irwin. “So I am really, really surprised at that, although I am delighted to see four lots come on the market. We need them.”

The report said that “disposition of these residential lots supports council’s strategic priorities for ‘planning for growth’ and ‘affordable housing.’ Not approving this bylaw will result in the residential development lots not being completed and the land being retained by the city.”

Coun. Roslyn Woodcock and Coun. Jocelyn Curteanu both said affordable housing was never the intention for these particular lots.

Curteanu said she was under the impression designation of the lots would give people the opportunity to move from existing homes into homes in Mary Lake, thereby freeing up more affordable housing options within town.

Pat Ross, the city’s manager of land and building services, told council the Mary Lake lots, as well as two lots in Arkell, on Sandpiper Drive, would be sold by public lottery.

The Arkell lots, which measure 663 square metres and 718 square metres, are valued at $127,300 and $137,900 respectively.

There are also potential lots on Talus Drive in Whitehorse Copper, though further study and design work need to be done before lot development is complete on that location.

Ross told council next steps with the Mary Lake and Arkell lots are capital budget amendment approval. Lots would then be serviced and a lottery would be held, likely in August, depending on servicing work.

That will come before council on March 26.

Contact Amy Kenny at amy.kenny@yukon-news.com

This story has been corrected. It originally placed Talus Drive in the wrong subdivision.

Just Posted

UPDATED: Porter Creek highway shooting now attempted murder investigation

Police believe incident was “targeted and related to the illicit drug trade and organized crime”

Inuvik mayor pens letter of concern about Dempster conditions

Conditions near Eagle Plains have been “terrible” the past two summers, she says

Yukon skiers embrace experience at Winter Youth Olympic Games

Derek Deuling and Sasha Masson skied for Team Canada at the 2020 Lausanne Winter Youth Olympic Games

‘It was terribly traumatic to lose a patient,’ nurse says during Blackjack inquest

The inquest is now happening at the Kwanlin Dün Cultural Centre

Whitehorse council and staff consider low-income transit fares

The discussion leaves anti-poverty coalition members feeling optimistic

Today’s mailbox: Biomass, fire

Letters to the editor published Jan. 24

EDITORIAL: The health department needs a time-out

The information and privacy commissioner deserves to be treated better

Yukon Rivermen face tough tests on the road

The team is in the middle of its busiest stretch of the season — 10 league games in three weeks

Yukon skiers battle both rain and heavy snowfall at 2020 Haywood Western Canada Cup

“They also realize that you have to be ready for anything — extreme cold or extreme warm.”

City news, briefly

Some of the discussions from Whitehorse city council on Jan 20

Driving with Jens: Both motorists and pedestrians have responsibilities when sharing the road

Roadways are a shared-use public resource. They are meant to be shared… Continue reading

Today’s mailbox: Biomass

Letters to the editor published Jan. 17

Most Read