The city’s unique take on park and drive

A proposal to cut a road through McIntyre Creek for the future Whistle Bend subdivision left some people at Thursday's council meeting shaking their heads.

A proposal to cut a road through McIntyre Creek for the future Whistle Bend subdivision left some people at Thursday’s council meeting shaking their heads.

At a meeting to discuss the 2009 Official Community Plan, the road was suggested by planners as a way to lessen the traffic burden of Whistle Bend residents using the Mountainview and Wann roads.

The road cuts through a 37-square-kilometre park proposed for the McIntyre Creek area to protect the wetland as a recreation area.

A traffic corridor proposal through the middle of a park didn’t sit well with people at the meeting.

“A roadway or development isn’t conducive to a park,” said Jeff Marynowski.

“At the public consultation meetings I went to dealing with McIntyre Creek never once did the road come up. It’s the first I’ve heard of it.”

People who have closely watched the Whistle Bend development say they never saw this in the works.

“It’s absurd that they’re saying they’re building a McIntyre Creek Park and then running a road right through it,” said Karen Baltgailis, executive director of the Yukon Conservation Society.

“I feel duped, completely misled. I participated in all the planning sessions for Whistle Bend and they never once mentioned a road in McIntyre Creek.”

But planners say the road idea has been there for awhile and it’s essential for moving people back and forth from Whistle Bend.

“Whistle Bend will be double the size of Porter Creek and, if we don’t add another route, the impact on Porter Creek will be substantial,” said planning manager Mike Gau.

And an alternate route around McIntyre Creek isn’t feasible, they say.

“We looked at all other options and the crossing at the pumphouse (in McIntyre Creek) is the best,” said Gau.

“With the terrain and the land out there, this is the only access to the highway possible,” he said.

But even the necessity of the road wasn’t enough to convince some councillors.

“I spend a ton of time there with students from the college and I can’t see myself taking people back there while I’m looking at an overpass,” said councillor Ranj Pillai who is also an instructor at Yukon College.

“There may be limited options, but we’ll work with you guys (from planning) to see if there’s anything possible.”

A proposal to develop an area of land south of Bald Hill known as Porter Creek D created additional concerns about the McIntyre Area.

The development was included in the 2002 Official Community Plan but never built. It proposed putting in 300 living units.

That area has increased in size from what was initially suggested and runs right along McIntyre Creek, said Baltgailis.

“The planners have said there will be a 200-metre buffer (between the development and the park) but that’s not very much.”

The two proposals were a few of many discussed at the council and special management meeting Thursday.

The city will hold two public sessions in January to discuss the proposed amendments to the 2009 Official Community Plan.

Contact Vivian Belik at

vivianb@yukon-news.com

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