Whitehorse City Hall (Yukon News file)

Whitehorse City Hall (Yukon News file)

This week at city hall

A look at issues discussed by Whitehorse city council at its Aug. 1 meeting.

Donation dilemma

A proposal to provide transit passes for one year and Canada Games Centre (CGC) 10-punch pass cards to two refugee families coming to Whitehorse could leave Whitehorse city council’s donation account nearly drained.

At council’s Aug. 1 meeting, members were presented with a recommendation to approve $4,978 in spending from the account for the one-year bus pass and 10-punch pass cards to members of the two families set to arrive in the Yukon over the next couple of months.

A family of six is set to arrive from Pakistan with a family of two coming from Eritrea.

As Krista Mroz, the city’s acting director of community services, explained, Yukon Cares is sponsoring the two families and has requested the passes for them. The city has previously provided transit and CGC passes for refugee families coming to the territory.

“Since the inception of Yukon Cares in 2016, the City of Whitehorse has provided the organization with grants to access city services in an amount totalling just over $7,500,” she said.

As council learned during discussion, approving the amount would bring the account down to under $100.

The account began the fiscal year with $22,000, of which $10,000 was already allocated for the Arctic Inspiration Prize as part of a previous city’s commitment of $30,000 over three years. Another $2,000 went to Blood Ties Four Directions to help address the opioid crisis, with $5,000 going to the Town of Faro in response to the shooting in 2021. The remaining $4,978 proposed for Yukon Cares would bring the total grants provided through the donations account up to $21,978 for the year.

While that would leave less than $100 in the account, Coun. Dan Boyd pointed out if another request comes forward before the end of the year that council wanted to donate to, changes could be made to the budget.

Council will vote on the grant for Yukon Cares at its Aug. 8 meeting.

Quarry comes forward

A proposal to rezone a 12.4-hectare piece of land off Copper Haul Road for an interim quarry could move ahead to second and third reading.

City planner Mathieu Marois brought forward a report to Whitehorse city council’s Aug. 1 meeting, recommending the rezoning move to second and third reading following a July public hearing on the matter. No feedback on the proposal was received as part of the public hearing.

The quarry zoning would be restricted to five years with the possibility of extending it for four additional five-year intervals to a maximum of 25 years. An updated grading plan would be required with each extension as part of the effort to ensure the site can be used for future development when the quarry closes.

“If council approves this amendment, the government of Yukon can finalize the lease agreement with the applicant for the quarry operation,” Marois said. “During the city’s development permit process, the applicant will be required to submit proper documentation and meet the items identified in the [Official Community Plan] and zoning bylaw.”

Council will vote on whether to move ahead to the final two readings of the bylaw Aug. 8.

Future plans for new homes

Whitehorse city council will vote Aug. 8 whether to move forward with the final two readings of a bylaw that would allow for nearly 100 new residential lots in Copper Ridge.

A recommendation that council bring the bylaw forward for the final two readings was presented at council’s Aug. 1 meeting. A public hearing report for the rezoning of more than 12 hectares of Kwanlin Dün First Nation settlement land to allow for residential development was presented by city planner Mathieu Marois. The land sits behind Falcon Drive near Aquamarine Place and just before North Star Drive and would be rezoned to comprehensive single family 2. Development is anticipated to happen in two phases. Rezoning for a third phase is expected at a later date.

While no one spoke at the public hearing, two written submissions were received. Among the concerns raised, it was argued the area would no longer be available for its current uses as a snow storage site and recreational area; that it will bring increased traffic on the main roads into the area; and that the area is close to a steep slope.

New zoning eyed for Azure Road property

A 1,400-square-metre portion of the Benchmark Trailer Park in Crestview could be rezoned for single detached housing.

The proposal was brought forward to Whitehorse city council’s Aug. 1 meeting.

As city planner Mathieu Marois explained, the site is not being used for the trailer park and there are no intentions for it to be used as such. The owners plan to subdivide to create the new lot to build a single detached house.

The property is currently zoned as residential mobile home park, which would allow for one single detached house on the property, but the owners are looking for the rezoning and subdivision in order to get a mortgage “as it is difficult to obtain a mortgage on leased land.”

“A free standing titled property will therefore facilitate securing a mortgage.”

Reclamation work will be required on the site as it was a former septic field and setbacks will be required as it is near a slope. Marois pointed out such requirements would be dealt with through a development permit.

First reading of the proposed rezoning will come forward Aug. 8. If it is passed, a public hearing will be held Sept. 12, with a report on the hearing coming back to council Oct. 3. Second and third reading would then come forward Oct. 11.

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