Whitehorse council news, briefly

Some of the issues discussed at the Sept. 3 Whitehorse council meeting:

Whitehorse council ponders land sale

In an effort to build a new driveway to a planned garage, the owners of a Copper Ridge property have applied to the City of Whitehorse to purchase a five-metre strip designated a public utility lot between their land and Falcon Drive.

Tom Nevrtal and Sheri Lynne Lintick began building a garage at 2 North Star Dr. in August after getting a development permit from the city.

As land development supervisor Cathy Dyson explained at the Sept. 3 Whitehorse council meeting, during construction it became obvious the doors were facing Falcon Drive and therefore, access would have to be across the buffer.

“The site plan that had been submitted with the building permit application did not identify the proposed door configuration and it was assumed at the time of permit issuance that the garage would be accessed by way of extending the existing driveway from North Star Drive,” Dyson said.

It was clarified the doors couldn’t be facing Falcon Drive, so Nevrtal and Lintick applied for an easement to allow the driveway over the utility lot and curb. The city’s development review committee turned that down due to concerns around allowing public land to be used exclusively.

Nevrtal and Lintick then applied to buy the land.

If the sale proceeds, a utility easement would be put in place for ATCO to access its switch cube box that takes up part of the land.

Such land transfers have been done previously between the city and property owners on a case-by-case basis, Dyson said.

The 567 square metre piece of land would be sold for $18,285, as per an appraisal that was done.

A lengthy discussion ensued over whether the city should sell the land to the property owners or simply allow the homeowners to use it for a driveway.

Coun. Dan Boyd highlighted concerns over what the city may be giving up if it loses a potential utility easement.

“We don’t know what the future holds,” he said, pointing to fibre optics as a utility need not foreseen years ago.

Council will vote on whether to move forward with the bylaw for the sale Sept. 9.

Mount Sima property owners could lose greenbelt zoning

The owners of five industrial properties in the Mount Sima area could have a chance to expand their lots in the future if council proceeds with a zoning change.

The proposal, presented to Whitehorse city council Sept. 3, would rezone 2.27 hectares of land behind the five properties on Mount Sima Road from a greenbelt designation to service industrial.

City planner Mike Ellis explained the rezoning comes from an inquiry by a Mount Sima property owner in 2017 who was looking at potentially expanding their lot.

That expansion never proceeded, but since then city staff have looked at the overall issue, determining the space behind the five properties could be suitable for expanding those lots.

A trail is in the area, but Ellis said in other cases trails have been relocated.

“This work could be completed as needed when lot expansions occur,” he said, adding money from the land sale could be used to pay for trail relocation.

Coun. Dan Boyd, however, argued the trail there is not a minor path, but rather serves as a connection to the Trans Canada Trail.

He said he doesn’t like the idea of moving the property lines of the sites so near the trail and close to Crater Lake.

The enlargements could potentially allow for the lots to be subdivided, he added.

While not opposed to enlarging the lots, he said these potential enlargements might be a bit too large in his opinion.

Coun. Laura Cabott, meanwhile, said she’s looking forward to hearing from residents about it.

If council approves first reading of the rezoning on Sept. 9, a public hearing would be held at council’s Oct. 15 meeting where residents could address council directly. A report on the hearing would come forward Nov. 4 with second and third reading on Nov. 12. Before any lot expansions happen, subdivision would also be required.

Money could be pumped into Whitehorse pump house

The City of Whitehorse could be spending more than $100,000 on new tanks for the Selkirk pump house.

As city engineer Taylor Eshpeter told council Sept. 3, the tanks need to be replaced due to cracking. Repairs have been made more frequently in recent years.

Duncan’s Ltd. was the sole bidder on the tank supply with a price of $108,555.

Council will vote on the contract Sept. 9.

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