A vehicle is seen along Mount Sima Road in Whitehorse on May 12. At its Oct. 13 meeting, Whitehorse city council approved the third reading for two separate bylaws that will allow the land sale and transfer agreements of city-owned land — a 127-square-metre piece next to 75 Ortona Ave. and 1.02 hectares of property behind three lots on Mount Sima Road. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)

A vehicle is seen along Mount Sima Road in Whitehorse on May 12. At its Oct. 13 meeting, Whitehorse city council approved the third reading for two separate bylaws that will allow the land sale and transfer agreements of city-owned land — a 127-square-metre piece next to 75 Ortona Ave. and 1.02 hectares of property behind three lots on Mount Sima Road. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)

Whitehorse properties could soon expand

Land sale agreements approved by council

Four properties in Whitehorse are set to grow in the near future.

At its Oct. 13 meeting, Whitehorse city council approved third reading for two separate bylaws that will allow the land sale and transfer agreements of city-owned land — a 127-square-metre piece next to 75 Ortona Ave. and 1.02 hectares of property behind three lots on Mount Sima Road.

The sale of the land behind the Mount Sima Road industrial properties comes after council approved the rezoning for industrial use earlier this year to allow for the lot expansions that property owners had requested.

Written submissions expressing both support and opposition came forward at a public hearing on the rezoning of the Mount Sima properties.

Of those supporting the change, some outlined plans for the continued development of their properties and businesses, while others highlighted the need for more industrial land in the city and still others simply stated they had no concerns with lot expansions in the area.

“I fully support the proposed lot expansions as indicated in City of Whitehorse letter dated April 15, 2020 shown below,” one submission read. “This allows for continued unencumbered use of the trail which is west of this proposed rezone area.”

The city had previously considered a larger expansion area of 2.27 ha, but those plans were halted over concerns for a trail. The 1.02 ha area that was approved does not reach the trail, though some submissions expressing opposition highlighted continued concerns around the trail and for wildlife in the area.

Others who were opposed to the rezoning argued it won’t ease demand for more industrial lots and stated the proposed change doesn’t fit with existing uses of the area.

As one writer put it: “There is a building visible from the area, and I feel that this is one area that needs further consideration. Wildlife uses that area extensively as well.”

Council ultimately decided to go ahead with the rezoning with a number of council members noting issues around the trail had been addressed by decreasing the amount of land up for rezoning and ensuring the trail remained in place.

Under the purchase agreement, the land behind the Mount Sima Road properties will be sold at fair market value assessed at $13.45 per square foot.

At that rate, the 0.309-hectare space behind 69 Mount Sima Rd. will be sold for $41,600 with the 0.29 ha behind 77 Mount Sima Rd. to be sold for $39,000, and the 0.282 ha behind 83 Mount Sima Rd. to be sold for $37,900.

Meanwhile, the property next to 75 Ortona Ave. in the Takhini North neighbourhood will also be sold at market value assessed at $14,605 for the 127-square-metre piece of land. No rezoning of that land was required ahead of the land sale and transfer bylaw coming forward.

If the sale and lot expansion moves forward, it will make 75 Ortona Ave. large enough for a garden suite to be built on the property.

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

RezoningWhitehorse city council

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