Coun. Steve Roddick in Whitehorse on Jan. 13. Roddick opted to be the only vote against a zoning change for an 84-unit seniors housing development off Range Road during a council meeting on Feb. 10. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)

Zoning approved for seniors housing development

Roddick lone councillor to vote against third reading

The developer working on a 84-unit seniors housing development off Range Road says more detailed design work for the facility will soon get underway after Whitehorse city council voted 6-1 in favour of a zoning change for a boundary realignment allowing the plans to move forward at its Feb. 10 meeting.

Coun. Steve Roddick was the only one to vote against third reading of the rezoning.

“We’re very pleased,” David Borud, a director with KDC Developments, said in a Feb. 11 interview about the rezoning approval.

KDC is proposing a five-storey, 84-unit housing facility that would provide supported services to residents — meals, housekeeping, social activities and the like.

KDC had initially requested a boundary realignment and a zoning change that would reduce the parking requirements from one stall for every two units to one parking stall for every four units. If all 84 units planned were built that would have seen parking requirement decrease from 42 stalls to 21.

After a public hearing saw many neighbours speak out against the parking reduction, arguing it would push parking to nearby streets, KDC altered its plans to include underground parking for 38 vehicles along with 12 parking spots outside the building.

The proposed new parking plans now go above and beyond the required 42 spaces.

The developers “completely understand” the concerns of residents and worked to address those concerns with a new plan, Borud said.

He acknowledged the underground parking will add costs and about a month and a half to the construction schedule, though its still anticipated construction will be done within a 16 to 18 month window with the building expected to be finished in 2021.

Nearly all council members were quick to praise the new plans and voice support for the housing project.

The changes will address most of the concerns that were raised, Coun. Laura Cabott pointed out. She said it will also add supportive housing units along a transit route.

Coun. Jocelyn Curteanu said it’s a much-needed development in Whitehorse and the efforts to make changes show the developer is “very community-minded”.

Coun. Steve Roddick; however, opted to vote against the zoning change at third reading after initially raising his hand in favour at second reading.

He said he’s concerned that by allowing eight surface parking spots in back of the building, space could be lost for the future second phase of the project that’s planned.

He also argued the increased costs that will come from putting in underground parking would eventually be passed on to those renting units in the facility.

Clarifying his comments in a Feb. 10 email after the meeting, Roddick wrote: “I was encouraged and impressed by the strong engagement we received from Takhini residents, and I respect and agree with their concerns about Range Road safety. I felt that the developer was unfairly relying on public parking spaces to meet the private needs of their tenants, and do not support the reduction of parking requirements initially proposed.

“Seeing that the vote on the revised amendment would pass anyway, I felt that voting against the amendment was an opportunity to draw attention to the impact of minimum parking requirements on housing affordability. This obscure but important planning consideration has significant consequences for the city’s future development, and I hope that my vote tonight got more people thinking about it.”

Other council members acknowledged the concerns around parking and highlighted the importance of the city continuing to look at ways to reduce traffic and parking around the city, but said there are certain realities that have to be faced.

“The reality is people need vehicles to get places not accessible by bus,” Coun. Jan Stick said, adding many who may choose to get around town by bus or alternative transportation also have a vehicle for longer trips or to get around when buses aren’t running.

Borud said the additional surface parking now planned behind the Phase 1 building will likely impact Phase 2, which will add more independent adult living units to the area, but that will be addressed down the road during the design for Phase 2.

Right now, developers are focused on Phase 1 with a goal of breaking ground in early May.

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

Housing

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Dawson the dog sits next to the Chariot Patrick Jackson has loaded and rigged up to walk the Dempster Highway from where it begins, off the North Klondike Highway, to the Arctic Circle. (Submitted)
Walking the Dempster

Patrick Jackson gets set for 405-kilometre journey

Liberal leader Sandy Silver speaks outside his campaign headquarters in Dawson City following early poll results on April 12. (Robin Sharp/Yukon News)
BREAKING: Minority government results will wait on tie vote in Vuntut Gwitchin

The Yukon Party and the Liberal Party currently have secured the same amount of seats

Yukonomist Keith Halliday
YUKONOMIST: The Neapolitan election

Do you remember those old bricks of Neapolitan ice cream from birthday… Continue reading

Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
Exposure notice issued for April 3 Air North flight

Yukon Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley has issued another… Continue reading

Crystal Schick/Yukon News file
Runners in the Yukon Arctic Ultra marathon race down the Yukon River near the Marwell industrial area in Whitehorse on Feb. 3, 2019.
Cold-weather exercise hard on the lungs

Amy Kenny Special to the Yukon News It might make you feel… Continue reading

lwtters
Today’s Mailbox: Rent freezes and the youth vote

Dear Editor, I read the article regarding the recommendations by the Yukon… Continue reading

Point-in-Time homeless count planned this month

Volunteers will count those in shelters, short-term housing and without shelter in a 24-hour period.

The Yukon’s new ATIPP Act came into effect on April 1. Yukoners can submit ATIPP requests online or at the Legislative Assembly building. (Gabrielle Plonka/Yukon News file)
New ATIPP Act in effect as of April 1

The changes promise increased government transparency

A new conservancy in northern B.C. is adjacent to Mount Edziza Provincial Park. (Courtesy BC Parks)
Ice Mountain Lands near Telegraph Creek, B.C., granted conservancy protection

The conservancy is the first step in a multi-year Tahltan Stewardship Initiative

Yukon RCMP reported a child pornography-related arrest on April 1. (Phil McLachlan/Black Press file)
Whitehorse man arrested on child pornography charges

The 43-year-old was charged with possession of child pornography and making child pornography

Team Yukon athletes wave flags at the 2012 Arctic Winter Games opening ceremony in Whitehorse. The postponed 2022 event in Wood Buffalo, Alta., has been rescheduled for Jan. 29 to Feb. 4, 2023. (Justin Kennedy/Yukon News file)
New dates set for Arctic Winter Games

Wood Buffalo, Alta. will host event Jan. 29 to Feb. 4, 2023

Victoria Gold Corp. has contributed $1 million to the First Nation of Na-cho Nyak Dun after six months of production at the Eagle Gold Mine. (Submitted/Victoria Gold Corp.)
Victoria Gold contributes $1 million to First Nation of Na-cho Nyak Dun

Victoria Gold signed a Comprehensive Cooperation and Benefits Agreement in 2011

Most Read