A local developer will get a break on development cost charges thanks to a City of Whitehorse incentive policy.
A total of $91,770 will be applied to development cost charges for a planned housing complex in Whistle Bend.
Whitehorse city council approved the development incentive at its July 26 meeting for the project that will see four buildings constructed at 213 Keno Way in Whistle Bend.
Evergreen Homes and Construction is building the Silver Flats condo development. Forty-two units are planned, including four studios and 38 two-bedroom units. Two of the two-bedroom condos will be fully accessible and each unit will have two parking spots and a deck or balcony.
It’s anticipated the units will be available in January, though pre-construction sales are underway with studios starting at $239,000 and two-bedroom units starting at $349,000.
As Kinden Kosick, the city’s subdivision and lands coordinator, stated in an earlier report to council, the plans meet the requirements for the Comprehensive Multiple Family 2 (RCM2) zone development incentive.
That incentive provides a grant to the developer for a reduction in development cost charges if the density of the development is more than the minimum required.
In this case, the minimum number of units required would be 40.
The incentive is valued at $91,770, though as Coun. Samson Hartland pointed out ahead of the vote, the incentive amount is applied to the development cost charges, meaning there is no cash provided up front.
Without the development incentives, he argued, some projects that bring housing to the city would not go ahead.
As Kosick explained in his earlier report, the incentive policy is “meant to encourage rental and supportive housing and smaller, denser housing forms in targeted areas.”
In this case, the project will provide higher density housing.
“Under this policy, developments that meet the specified criteria are eligible for a reduction of development cost charges, a yearly monetary grant from the city, or both. The value of the grant is based on the increase in taxation due to the improvements on the property.”
While Coun. Dan Boyd also cited concerns he’s heard about the incentive, he pointed out in approving the incentive council is following a policy in place that was worked on “at length” and available to anyone meeting the criteria outlined.
“This isn’t just a one-off deal for a developer,” he said, stressing the need for any developer applying for an incentive to meet criteria aimed at increasing available housing options on the city.
Contact Stephanie Waddell at firstname.lastname@example.org