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This week’s mailbox: city planning for healthy communities

City plan or building healthy communities

City plan or building healthy communities

Although we do not live in The City, we love Whitehorse but the pressures already felt in the overcrowded city without sufficient private sector staffing is getting painful to watch and experience. We hear the discomfort expressed every day.

Just a few objective thoughts.

Healthy cooperative contributing communities are emerging globally, why not here before it’s too late. Lets not build our city into a small black needy hole.

Why not stop residential development on city land, keep the space we have for parking, recreation, parks and consider downtown a beautiful resort destination and stop forcing higher density residential. This is not community. The balance currently seems ok. Higher density will not be healthy.

Considering the outer perimeter of the city. Keep it green and wild fire safe. Then, develop smaller areas, like Wolf Creek, etc., very healthy communities with pride.

Allow private business, and tourism to thrive downtown and that means parking space. If there’s are not sufficient parking spaces, 2 per res. unit minimum, do not allow more units. Be practical and add value. Yes, values will rise in the city but we can have affordable rural communities close by, lifestyles will improve for everyone.

Create perimeter city parkades for all government employees staying longer than an hour with regular city bus service.

Reduce traffic downtown to shoppers, diners, tourists and increase business revenues.

We need business to thrive, we can’t base our Yukon economy on government jobs and locate them downtown on the most valuable space in the Yukon.

Commercial retail development must provide adequate parking for their staff or use the shuttle service. Remove the parking meters, they are counterproductive to an enjoyable city experience and encouraging longer term users. Why not park, stay, shop dine, attend events without parking your greatest challenge.

Develop outside the city but with more privacy and space for families, one to two acre lots minimum. The Yukon has space, provide land at 25 per cent of the residential value.

$500,000. $150,000/relative land value. Land development costs can be amortized longer to create more affordability.

Our goals should be a much higher quality of lifestyle and affordability.

Look at all the help wanted signs. Service level workers can’t afford to live in the Yukon and this isn’t getting better. This is a serious problem that’s needs priority status.

Whitehorse is focused on the homeless and subsidized without a bigger picture strategy to engage the occupants in the economy. Why subsidize housing in the city, why not build this housing on more affordable space and have the applicants select how they will contribute to the upkeep and maintenance as one of the criteria?.

We need cooperative community development projects. We have a few already as good examples. We are nurturing a society with no self esteem or initiative to be part of an economic contributing society. Very sad unhealthy scenario leading to mental illness.

Just some thoughts. We need to all take some responsibility and teach our children how yo survive and sustain themselves.

Stop saying, we can’t. We can.

Sue Greetham