The road into Whitehorse’s tank farm, a former White Pass fuel storage area, as seen in 2012 near the Valleyview neighbourhood. A section of the former tank farm site could be designated for commercial/industrial use under the city’s Official Community Plan if a proposed amendment goes ahead. (Ian Stewart/Yukon News file)

Whitehorse city council contemplates OCP change for section of the tank farm

Change would allow for commercial industrial use instead of current residential classification

A 7.3-hectare section of the former tank farm site that sits between Hamilton Boulevard and Burns Road could be designated for commercial/industrial use under the city’s Official Community Plan if a proposed amendment goes ahead.

City planning manager Mélodie Simard brought forward the change at Whitehorse city council’s March 23 meeting. It would see the OCP designation for the site close to Burns Road and Wasson Place changed from its current residential-urban designation to the commercial/industrial designation.

The 56 hectare former tank farm site is being redeveloped with extensive remediation having been underway in recent years.

In the case of this specific area, at the southeast corner, it has been found to not be suitable for residential development due to deep depressions in the land created during remediation and quarrying work underway in recent years.

That means the grade of the land in the area is extremely varied.

“Due to the significant grade change and previous elimination of organic materials, this portion of the Tank Farm site is directly adjacent to the industrial/commercial uses on Wasson Place and Burns Road and is likely not suitable for residential development,” Simard told council.

She highlighted a section of the OCP which states there must be vegetated buffers between service commercial sites and residential area, though it does not go into specifics on how far the commercial area needs to be from residential areas.

The proposal would see the new commercial/industrial area approximately 65 m from other planned residential areas within the tank farm; 120 m from Hillcrest; 560 m from McIntyre; 860 m from a Kwanlin Dün First Nation parcel on Sumanik Drive and 1,000 m from Valleyview.

The site would also need to be serviced, but Simard said the standards and requirements for utilities would be detailed in a later development agreement should the OCP change and rezoning be approved.

“Since potential servicing concerns and design can be addressed more thoroughly through subsequent approval processes (zoning and subdivision), they should not impact the land use decision put forward as part of the OCP amendment,” Simard said.

Council is scheduled to vote on first reading March 30, but there’s still a question about whether the subsequent public hearing will go ahead April 27 as proposed.

Coun. Laura Cabott, who was among members attending by phone, highlighted the COVID-19 pandemic and wondered if now is the right time to bring it forward as “some may miss the opportunity because it’s not front and centre in their mind.” Simard said that under the process approximately 400 households will be directly notified of the hearing and added city officials are still looking at whether a public hearing — as defined under the Municipal Act — can be held with only an opportunity for written submissions or if residents need to be given the opportunity to speak in person. If that’s the case, there could be an issue given the restrictions on gatherings.

Simard said the city will be looking at the issue, but that first reading can go forward. After that, council can vote to defer the public hearing to a later date beyond April 27. Coun. Dan Boyd, who was the lone member of council physically present at the meeting to chair the session as deputy mayor, said he would like there to be a community meeting hosted by the owners of the tank farm property as well with Simard noting that requirement could also be added at first reading though it may be some time before such a meeting could happen.

If first reading passes and the timeline goes ahead as proposed with the public hearing April 27, a report would come forward to council May 19 ahead of second reading May 25. If second reading is passed, there would be a ministerial review that could take up to 45 days before coming back to council July 27 for third reading.

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

Whitehorse city council

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Yukonomist Keith Halliday
Yukonomist: The aesthetics and economics of highway strips

One of the many cultural experiences you enjoy while driving from Whitehorse… Continue reading

Submitted
Artwork by Grade 2 student Faith showing her thanks for everyone.
Artwork by Grade 2 student Faith showing her thanks for everyone. (Submitted)
Yukon kids express gratitude for nature, pets and friends in art campaign

More than 50 children submitted artwork featuring things they are grateful for

Team Yukon skip Laura Eby, left, directs her team as Team Northern Ontario skip Krysta Burns looks on at the Scotties Tournament of Hearts in Calgary on Feb. 22. (Jeff McIntosh/CP)
Team Yukon reports positive experience at Scotties

Team Yukon played their final game at the national championship in Calgary on Thursday afternoon

A sign indicating a drop-off area behind Selkirk Elementary school in Whitehorse on Feb. 25. (Haley Ritchie/Yukon News)
Parking lot proposal for Selkirk Elementary criticized

Parents and school council are raising concerns about green space and traffic woes

adsf
WYATT’S WORLD

Wyatt’s World for Feb. 26, 2021

Tom Ullyett, pictured, is the first Yukoner to receive the Louis St-Laurent Award of Excellence from the Canadian Bar Association for his work as a community builder and mentor in the territory. (Gabrielle Plonka/Yukon News)
Tom Ullyett wins lifetime achievement award from the Canadian Bar Association

Ullyett has worked in the Yukon’s justice ecosystem for 36 years as a public sector lawyer and mentor

The Blood Ties outreach van will now run seven nights a week, thanks to a boost in government funding. Logan Godin, coordinator, and Jesse Whelen, harm reduction counsellor, are seen here on May 12, 2020. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Blood Ties outreach van running seven nights a week with funding boost

The Yukon government is ramping up overdose response, considering safe supply plan

Ranj Pillai speaks to media about business relief programs in Whitehorse on April 1, 2020. The Yukon government announced Feb.25 that it will extend business support programs until September. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
Government extends business relief programs to September, launches new loan

“It really gives folks some help with supporting their business with cash flow.”

Whitehorse City Hall. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
A look at decisions made by Whitehorse City Council this week

Bylaw amendment Whitehorse city council is moving closer with changes to a… Continue reading

Susie Rogan is a veteran musher with 14 years of racing experience and Yukon Journey organizer. (Yukon Journey Facebook)
Yukon Journey mushers begin 255-mile race

Eleven mushers are participating in the race from Pelly Crossing to Whitehorse

Legislative assembly on the last day of the fall sitting in Whitehorse on Nov. 22, 2018. As the legislature prepares to return on March 4, the three parties are continuing to finalize candidates in the territory’s 19 ridings. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Nine new candidates confirmed in Yukon ridings

It has been a busy two weeks as the parties try to firm up candidates

David Malcolm, 40, has been charged with assaulting and attempting to disarm a police officer after an incident in Whitehorse on Feb. 18. (Phil McLachlan/Capital News)
Man resists arrest, assaults officer

A Whitehorse man has been charged with assaulting and attempting to disarm… Continue reading

Yukon Energy in Whitehorse on Aug. 4, 2020. A site on Robert Service Way near the Alaska Highway has been selected as the future home of Yukon Energy’s energy storage project. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Site selected for Yukon Energy battery project

Planned to be in service by the end of 2022

Most Read