A look at decisions made by Whitehorse city council at its March 28 meeting and the upcoming emergency alert test.
Rezoning passes first reading
A public hearing on the proposed rezoning of 1 Drift Drive will be held April 25 after Whitehorse city council passed first reading of the bylaw for the rezoning at its March 28 meeting.
The owners of the property are asking the city to rezone the site to Residential Single Detached (RS) rather than the current Restricted Residential (RR) to allow for a living suite in the home.
The RR zone limits development to single detached homes on large, serviced lots, while the RS zone provides more options, including living suites and garden suites as secondary uses.
A public hearing follows first reading on any rezoning. After the April 25 public hearing, a report on the input provided will come forward May 16 with council then expected to vote on the final two readings May 24.
Summer roadwork planned
The City of Whitehorse can get set for summer roadwork after Whitehorse city council voted March 28 to go ahead with procurements for both the asphalt overlay work planned and the rural roads surfacing program that sees bituminous surface treatment (BST) surfacing, which is essentially chip seal, to roads that are primarily in rural subdivisions of the city.
Both contracts are expected to be more than $500,000 and thus require council authorization before procurement can begin.
The 2022 asphalt overlay work will see work on Fourth Avenue from Black Street to Ogilvie Street; Range Road from Whistle Bend Way to McIntyre Creek; and Two Mile Hill Road from Industrial Road to Range Road.
Meanwhile, BST plans will see surfacing work done on parts of War Eagle Way, Fish Lake Road, Range Road North, Wickstrom Road and Miles Canyon Road.
Inspections to BST work done last year in Mary Lake are also planned as that work is still under warranty.
Tender documents for each contract will be released in March with contracts to be awarded in April.
Both projects would start in June with the BST surfacing work expected to be finished in August and the asphalt overlay work anticipated to be complete in September.
Resolutions will go to the Association of Yukon Communities
An increase in the length of council terms and financial relief for municipalities impacted by COVID-19 will be the focus of two resolutions coming forward to the Association of Yukon Communities (AYC) at its annual general meeting in May.
Whitehorse city council voted March 28 in favour of bringing forward the two resolutions to the meeting.
AYC represents Yukon municipalities. Four local advisory communities also share one seat collectively as associate members on the council.
Members of AYC are invited to bring forward resolutions each year. Resolutions passed help set the direction of AYC over the following year.
The resolution to increase the term of office would call on the Yukon government to increase municipal council terms from three to four years with councils facing increased demand to address citizen needs that come with population growth, climate change and programs being moved from other levels of government to municipalities.
Coun. Kirk Cameron voiced his support for the resolution before voting in favour, noting it would give council more time to move forward on initiatives.
“A four-year term makes good sense,” he said.
The other resolution highlights unanticipated, additional operating expenses communities are facing from enforcement of and support for the territory’s public health measures, as well as revenue losses in recreation; building and room rentals; transit, bylaw, property taxes and utility bills; and in interest earned.
Mayor Laura Cabott commented that it speaks to the situation all municipalities are finding themselves in from the pandemic.
Coun. Ted Laking also spoke before the vote, noting his agreement with both Cameron and Cabott.
AYC’s annual general meeting is scheduled for May 13 and 14.
No bagged meter fees for pop-up patios
Restaurant owners putting in pop-up, on-street patios will not have to pay the city’s bagged meter fee they would have been previously charged.
At Whitehorse city council’s March 28 meeting, members passed third reading of a bylaw change to bring the bagged meter fee down to $0 for pop-up, on-street patios.
Under the patio program adopted in 2021 to offset COVID-19 seating restrictions, restaurants in the downtown core could set up expanded seating areas into the parking areas on streets, provided they met a series of conditions. Among them were setting up barriers, ensuring distance requirements are met and paying a bagged metre fee for the parking spaces that are taken up by the additional seating.
There was no uptake on the program in 2021, with the city looking at ways to bring down associated costs to businesses ahead of this year’s season in an effort to encourage more uptake.
The fee is estimated at about $9,000 for most businesses, based on three parking spots being used over five months.
Food truck parking
Food truck owners stationed at the Third Avenue and Steele Street parkade this summer will be able to keep their trucks in place overnight.
At its March 28 meeting, Whitehorse city council passed the third reading of a bylaw change that allows mobile food vendors inside the two spots available at the city’s Third Avenue and Steele Street parkade to have their trucks remain in place at the site.
Under the bylaw, most vehicles cannot stay in a city parking lot between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m.
The change allows the vendors to keep their truck in the spaces overnight, though they will continue to be required to close by 11 p.m.
The change is in line with a provision that allows food trucks in the other public spaces over the summer to remain overnight.
The City of Whitehorse will be conducting a test of its emergency mass notification system, Whitehorse Alert, on April 14 at 2:15 p.m.
Whitehorse residents are encouraged to register for the free service to receive official, real-time community emergency alerts regarding major events such as wildfires, earthquakes, major floods, toxic chemical releases and more, the city said in a statement.
An alert issued will need to meet three criteria, including that the event is imminent or occurring; it involves a high risk to public safety; and those who receive an alert are required to take specific actions as directed (evacuation or shelter-in-place) to protect themselves.
Landlines, cell phones, tablets and computers are all options for those registering for Whitehorse Alert and people can register many ways to connect for as many locations as they wish.
Those interested can register at whitehorse.ca/emergency
Contact Stephanie Waddell at email@example.com