Yukon Gardens pitches green development

Lorne Metropolit wants to subdivide the Yukon Gardens property to create 19 new lots zoned highway commercial.

Lorne Metropolit wants to subdivide the Yukon Gardens property to create 19 new lots zoned highway commercial.

The property is located along the Alaska Highway at the top of the Robert Service Way.

Metropolit attended the meeting on Tuesday night to tell council about the “gem” of a property.

He has proposed to dedicate 16 per cent of the land to meet the city’s Public Use Land Dedication requirements.

This conserved lot would include a pond and several areas of bedrock and rock walls.

However, he was concerned about a road that would be built to access this patch of land.

“This is the only piece of property in the city that has so many rare natural phenomenon,” he said.

“It has rare ferns and waterlilies and it’s the only place that cattails grow in the Yukon.”

This “highly sensitive area” was once used like a garbage dump and a place to party, he said.

When the area was cleaned up, seven truckloads of broken beer bottles were removed from the site.

Metropolit acquired the land 25 years ago.

The year before, there were seven fire calls because of people partying in the area, he told council.

Metropolit is concerned that building an access road could make it easier for the partiers to return.

“It only takes the worse 10 per cent of society to ruin it for everybody.”

If you care so much about the land, council asked Metropolit, why are you turning it into commercial property?

The subdivision will be what Metropolit calls “green highway commercial,” with a number of restrictions placed on the properties’ uses, he said.

For example, no commercial trucking will be allowed in the area.

Metropolit’s environmental concern impressed councillor Jeanine Myhre.

“This is the only time I’ve thought land was better off kept in private hands,” she said.

City administration is recommending that council approve the subdivision pending an evaluation for onsite septic and potable water systems.

The proposal to name the new road Metropolit Lane raised some eyebrows among council.

“This sets a dangerous precedent,” said councillor Dave Stockdale.

“I don’t think we should allow developers to name streets after themselves.”

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