Coun. Steve Roddick at Whitehorse city council on Dec. 3, 2018. Roddick is in favour of using the city’s development incentives on projects such as a proposed seniors supportive housing development on Range Road. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)

Whitehorse council considers incentives for two housing projects

A total of nearly 80 units could be built

A seniors supportive housing development proposed for Range Road is the right fit for the City of Whitehorse’s development incentive, says one city councilllor.

“This is the type of development I’d like to see development incentives go towards,” Coun. Steve Roddick said during the April 15 council meeting when it came forward for discussion.

The five-storey development at 468 Range Rd. would feature 73 studio, one and two-bedroom rental units. Underground parking would also be available with shared dining and exercise facilities, a salon and reception/office space.

Project proponent KBC Developments Inc. has applied for a major development incentive from the city. If council votes to sign off on the agreement, KBC could receive an annual grant equal to any property tax increases resulting from improvements to the property due to the new construction. It would be to a maximum of $500,000 or 10 years.

The agreement was one of two development incentives put to council for consideration at the April 15 meeting.

The other is for a two-storey development at 807 Wheeler St. that would feature four two-bedroom, three floor (including basements) townhouse rental units. Unlike the Range Road development which aimed at seniors, this one does not appear to be aimed at any specific demographic. Kevin Harms is listed as the developer.

As with the Range Road proposal, the grant would be to a maximum of $5000,000 or 10 years, with the annual amount equal to any property tax increases resulting from improvements to the property due to the new construction.

Both agreements also include a clause that the homes cannot be used for short-term rentals such as AirBnBs.

Just how that clause is enforced is still something the city is working on, city planner Mike Ellis acknowledged.

As a fairly new part of the development incentive program, enforcement is something the city is continuing to look at in more detail, he explained when Roddick asked.

Both incentive agreements will come back to council for decisions April 23.

Coun. Dan Boyd attended the April 15 session by conference call.

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

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