Tank farm cleanup gets green light

After heated debates earlier this fall, city council decided to allow temporary quarrying at the tank farm on Monday night.

After heated debates earlier this fall, city council decided to allow temporary quarrying at the tank farm on Monday night.

Only Coun. Betty Irwin voted against the motion to change the official community plan to allow for the cleanup activities at the contaminated site. Irwin had previously voted against the motion. She wanted to wait for the Yukon Environmental and Socio-Economic Assessment Board’s approval before the city voted to change the official community plan.

“I have to stand behind what I said the first time. I object to any bylaw amending the official community plan without having that YESAB report in place,” she told council.

Earlier this year, a proposal was put forward to build a neighbourhood on the 57-hectare piece of land between Valleyview and Hillcrest. Before work could begin, the soil needed to be cleaned and trucked off site.

Hillcrest residents worried this work would create a loud racket and cause the smell of dug-up petroleum to waft near their homes. They wanted the city to put off changing the official community plan until the YESAB process was complete.

Doing so would have meant work on the project wouldn’t begin for another year.

In September, the four city councillors who were seeking re-election voted to wait until YESAB completed its work before changing the official community plan. Early in October, council reversed that decision.

Council will still need to approve any zoning changes for the project, Mike Gau, director of development services told council Monday night.

Any changes to zoning will be “where the rubber meets the road,” said Coun. Kirk Cameron. He voted against changing the plan in September, but supported October’s vote. However, he may oppose future zoning changes.

Coun. Dave Stockdale originally voted against the change because he felt the residents had real concerns about the project, he said. He changed his mind after the planning committee told him no zoning changes can happen until YESAB issues its report. And the city can put restrictions on zoning, he said.

Residents know about the process and are happy with it, he said.

“Previously, I had voted against it because they had real concerns. If they don’t have real concerns about it, then I’m just fighting a losing battle,” he said.

“We’ll have the checks and balances, and see how things go,” he said, adding he was comfortable the project will be done properly.

Mayor Dan Curtis was enthusiastic in his support for the project.

“I think it’s kind of a win-win-win,” he said.

The project can only benefit the city, the neighbourhood residents and the developers.

“I think we all need to get this done,” he said. “It has to happen.”

Just Posted

Northwestel says it is investigating into the cause of the total communications blackout throughout the territory after a power failure in Whitehorse on Wednesday night.
Internet outage prompts criticism on Dempster fibre project delays

The Liberals responded that they have proceeded cautiously to avoid high costs.

A motorcycle with driver pulled over on the right side of the North Klondike Highway whose speed was locked in at 171 kilometres per hour. (Courtesy/Yukon RCMP)
Patrols of Yukon highways find poorly-secured loads, intoxicated drivers

The ongoing patrols which police call ‘Operation Cooridor’ is mainly focused on commercial vehicles.

Awaken Festival organizers Meredith Pritchard, Colin Wolf, Martin Nishikawa inside the Old Firehall in Whitehorse on May 11. (Haley Ritchie/Yukon News)
Performing arts fest plans to awaken artistic talent in Whitehorse and the rural North

‘A value of ours is to make theatre as accessible as possible.’

April Mikkelsen tosses a disc during a ladies only disc golf tournament at Solstice DiscGolfPark on May 8. John Tonin/Yukon News
Yukon sees its first-ever women’s disc golf tournament

The Professional Disc Golf Assocation had a global women’s event last weekend. In the Yukon, a women’s only tournament was held for the first time ever.

Dave Blottner, executive director at the Whitehorse Food Bank, said the food bank upped its services because of the pandemic. (John Tonin/Yukon News)
Food Bank sees Yukoners’ generosity firsthand

“Businesses didn’t know if they could stay open but they were calling us to make sure we were able to stay open.”

More than 25,000 people have received the firsdt dose of the vaccine, according to the Yukon government. (Black Press file)
Yukon has now vaccinated 76 per cent of eligible adults

The territory has surpassed its goal of 75 per cent as a first step toward ‘herd immunity’

A prescribed burn is seen from the lookout at Range Road and Whistle Bend Way in Whitehorse May 12. (Stephanie Waddell/Yukon News)
Editorial: Are you ready for a forest fire?

Citizens for a Firesmart Whitehorse have listed some steps for Yukoners to boost safety and awareness

Caribou pass through the Dempster Highway area in their annual migration. A recent decision by the privacy commissioner has recommended the release of some caribou collar re-location data. (Justin Kennedy/Yukon News)
Privacy commissioner recommends release of caribou location data

Department of Environment says consultation with its partners needed before it will consider release

Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
Family pleased youth will be able to get Pfizer vaccine

Angela Drainville, mother of two, is anxious for a rollout plan to come forward

Safe at home office in Whitehorse on May 10, 2021. (John Tonin/Yukon News)
Federal government provides $1.6 million for Yukon anti-homelessness work

Projects including five mobile homes for small communities received funding.

Drilling at Northern Tiger’s 3Ace gold project in 2011. Randi Newton argues that mining in the territory can be reshaped. (Yukon government/file)
Editorial: There’s momentum for mining reform

CPAWS’ Randi Newton argues that the territory’s mining legislations need a substantial overhaul

At its May 10 meeting, Whitehorse city council approved the subdivision for the Kwanlin Dün First Nation’s business park planned in Marwell. (Submitted)
KDFN business park subdivision approved

Will mean more commercial industrial land available in Whitehorse

Most Read