Owners of country-residential lots in Whitehorse face new restrictions on subdividing their property.
Last week, Whitehorse City Council unanimously approved a bylaw that specifies the minimum lot size of country-residential properties to be one hectare for residential uses. The minimum size of properties for other uses is half a hectare.
People will not be able to ask for rezoning applications to subdivide their property below one hectare. This is to make sure there can be sufficient on-site water and sewage services available to properties. People often want to build more units in country-residential neighbourhoods. But there are no neighbourhood-wide studies to show if these areas can support increased demand for on-site wells and sewage systems.
Units that are smaller than one hectare will need to be made as part of a planned development, explained Pat Ross, the city’s manager of planning. This change to the Official Community Plan provides more clarity to residents about what can be developed in those areas, he said.
Developers who want to have lot sizes smaller than half a hectare, like the ones in Fox Haven or Raven’s Ridge, would have to apply for the Official Community Plan to be changed. No properties smaller than one hectare can be developed in current neighbourhoods. New neighbourhoods can have properties smaller than half a hectare if it can be shown there can be on-site water and sewage services.