Whitehorse City Hall (Yukon News file)

Whitehorse City Hall (Yukon News file)

This week at city hall

A look at decisions made by Whitehorse city council at its Aug. 8 meeting as well as other city happenings.

City welcomes new family

The City of Whitehorse will provide transit passes for one year and 10-punch Canada Games Centre cards to two refugee families coming to Whitehorse.

At Whitehorse city council’s Aug. 8 meeting, council voted to provide the bus and CGC passes to members of a family of six coming from Pakistan and a family of two coming from Eritrea. Yukon Cares is sponsoring each of the families and made the request for the passes. The city has previously provided similar donations to refugee families coming to the territory.

Before voting in favour, council members voiced their support to offer the passes to the new families with Coun. Kirk Cameron describing it as a small gesture of welcome.

A total of $4,978 will be used from council’s donation account to fund the passes.

Rezoning for quarry approved

Whitehorse city council passed the final two readings on a bylaw to rezone a 12.4-hectare piece of land off Copper Haul Road for an interim quarry.

The vote followed an earlier public hearing on the proposal where no feedback was received.

The quarry zoning will 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.

Council members were vocal in their support of the rezoning with Mayor Laura Cabott highlighting the need to make gravel available in the city. Coun. Kirk Cameron pointed to the fire smarting benefits with Coun. Dan Boyd noting that while it may result in a need for better road maintenance, overall the quarry will be beneficial for the city.

New lots coming to Copper Ridge

Efforts to develop close to 100 new residential lots in Copper Ridge can move forward after Whitehorse city council approved the final two readings of a bylaw to rezone more than 12 hectares of Kwanlin Dün First Nation settlement land behind Falcon Drive near Aquamarine Place and just before North Star Drive.

Council passed second and third reading at its Aug. 8 meeting, moving the land designation from future planning to comprehensive single family 2.

The First Nation plans to add nearly 100 lots to the site, to be developed in two phases. A third phase of development is also planned in the same area, though rezoning for that is anticipated to come forward at a later date.

New zoning eyed for Azure Road property

A 1,400-square-metre portion of the Benchmark Trailer Park in Crestview is closer to being rezoned for single detached housing.

Whitehorse city council passed first reading of the rezoning Aug. 8.

As city planner Mathieu Marois explained in an earlier report, 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.”

A public hearing on the rezoning will be held Sept. 12, with a report on the hearing coming back to council Oct. 3. Second and third reading will then come forward Oct. 11.

Lease makes its way through first two readings

A 1,000 square metre piece of land in Whistle Bend will become the site of a new community garden in the neighbourhood.

A lease for the site, located off a laneway near Keno Way, passed third reading at Whitehorse city council’s Aug. 8 meeting.

The city has worked with the Whistle Bend Garden Society to identify the city-owned site for the garden.

“The proposed garden site would be accessed from a laneway connecting from Keno Way and is expected to consist of a fenced site with garden boxes, a water tank, and soil and tool storage,” Pat Ross, the city’s manager of land and building services, said in an earlier report to council.

“It is expected to function similarly to the Downtown Urban Garden located on Seventh Avenue.”

The lease will be in place from Sept. 1, 2022 to Aug. 31, 2025 with an option to renew for another three years. The garden society will pay $10 per year for the use of the land.

City manager bylaw adopted

The interim city manager has taken on the permanent title of city manager.

At Whitehorse city council’s Aug. 8 meeting, members passed third reading of the city manager bylaw, effectively naming Jeff O’Farrell to the role.

O’Farrell as served as both acting and interim city manager for more than a year, first filling in for former city manager Linda Rapp when she was on leave and then as interim city manager after she passed away.

Prior to that, O’Farrell served as the director of community services for the city.

Before voting in favour of third reading of the bylaw Mayor Laura Cabott said she was pleased to have the bylaw coming forward.

“We look forward to working with him and in this more permanent position,” she said. “And on behalf of council I welcome him and wish him all the best as he starts to starts to set the course.”

Summer break begins for council

Whitehorse city council will have a few Monday evenings off.

Council’s summer recess began following its Aug. 8 meeting with the next weekly council meeting not scheduled until Sept. 6.

While council meetings do not happen during both the summer and Christmas recess in December, Mayor Laura Cabott said city work continues and council members will be out and about in the community over the four week period.

After the summer recess, regular meetings will resume until December with the Christmas recess beginning after the Dec. 12 session, the final council meeting of 2022.

Last Splash

Whitehorse residents are invited to the city’s annual Last Splash event on Aug. 12 from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.

The event serves as the last swimming session of the summer before the Whitehorse Lions Aquatic Centre at the Canada Games Centre is closed for a little more than three weeks for maintenance.

The Last Splash will run from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. with admission by donation. All donations will go to the Humane Society Yukon. Activities, games and the Wibit inflatable will all be part of the event.

The pool will be closed from Aug. 13 to Sept. 5 with the maintenance work to include repairs and replacement of broken and chipped tiles, air handling unit filter replacement, and deep cleaning and descaling of pumps, drain grates, change room lockers, shower-heads and all areas of the pool.

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

Whitehorse city council