Watson Lake and Dawson plan for new lots

A new agreement between Yukon, Watson Lake and Dawson will allow the two communities to develop their own lots.

A new agreement between Yukon, Watson Lake and Dawson will allow the two communities to develop their own lots.

The agreement, signed Wednesday, will expedite the creation of new lots, said Watson Lake Mayor Richard Durocher.

“We got caught with our pants down,” he said. “We basically are running short of property available for people who want to buy property in the community, affordable property. So we need to get moving on a way of developing more property so people can buy.”

The land development protocol formalizes the process for the towns to work with the Yukon government to identify the need for and develop new lots.

“I think that’s the key thing with the protocol agreement, is that fact that discussions will happen between the two levels of government to recognize the need for lots,” said Durocher.

The framework for sharing costs for land development will be dealt with on a “case-by-case basis,” said Community Services Minister Elaine Taylor.

The agreement puts communities “in the driver’s seat,” she said.

“We’re very pleased to have signed these off.”

The agreements are modelled on the land development protocol that has been in place with Whitehorse since 2006.

That agreement has seen the development of Ingram and Whistle Bend subdivisions.

The next step for Watson Lake is to come up with a strategic plan for lot development, said Durocher.

“Right now, Watson Lake is falling short in just about every type of lot. We’re short in country residential, we’re short in residential, our industrial lots are being scooped up as well. So we’re having issues all over the place.

“Realistically, we can’t do them all at once because they’re fairly expensive to do, so is there a strategy we can take on where the responsibility is spread?” he asked.

Work on that will begin in August, and will include consultation with the community.

A few small parcels of land have been identified that could be developed quickly, perhaps ready by late summer 2014, said Durocher.

“It wouldn’t take much of an investment from the municipality or on the territorial government’s behalf to get them open. That will ease pressure in the short term, but it’s not a long-term solution.

“That doesn’t solve our long-term needs or keep us ahead of the curve if we go into another boom or even if the economy grows more.”

The new agreement will allow for the long-range planning that will be necessary to keep up with demand, he said.

Contact Jacqueline Ronson at


Just Posted

Photos: Rendezvous 2020

Some shots from this year’s festivities

Yukon First Nations’ graduation regalia sought for upcoming exhibit

Curator Lisa Dewhurst is hoping to get at least two pieces from each Yukon First Nation

National signs honour victims of impaired driving

Yukon government says it would consider bringing the signs to the territory if approached


Wyatt’s World

History Hunter: Yukoners honoured for their contributions to Yukon history

The Yukon Historical and Museums Association handed out the 36th Annual Yukon Heritage Awards

Yukonomist: Whitehorse through the eyes of an app

You probably don’t use an app to decide where to dine out… Continue reading

Today’s mailbox: free transit

Letters to the editor published Feb. 26

Local skiers compete in 2020 Yukon Cross Country Ski Championships

The event included dozens of racers competing in mass-start skate races

Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in to hold general election in April

On top of voting for chief, three councillors, citizens will vote for a deputy chief for first time

Yukon’s minimum wage set to increase by $1 to $13.71 in April

The increase will make the Yukon’s minimum wage the fourth-highest in the country

City news, briefly

Some of the decisions made at the Whitehorse council meeting on Feb 17

Yukonomist: Three questions on Yukon Zinc and China

The case heard recently in Yukon Supreme Court is particularly troubling

Most Read