Addition of Housing Lots to Existing Neighbourhoods

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Several Sites Approved By Council

On November 14th, 2017, Whitehorse City Council voted to approve a zoning amendment  to allow for five additional housing sites in existing neighbourhoods.  Sites were approved in Hidden Valley, Logan, Whitehorse Copper, Mary Lake, and Cowley Creek.  Mapping of each site can be downloaded below:

Additional sites on Talus Drive in Whitehorse Copper and Fireweed Drive in Mary Lake were rejected by

For more information on the zoning amendment process, or to access reports, bylaws, and appendices, visit www.whitehorse.ca/amendments.  The public hearing report will be available November 3rd at 12 noon.  The City thanks everyone who participated in this process.

Sites in Porter Creek, Arkell, and Granger will come before Council as part of a disposition bylaw.  If Council supports these three urban sites, they will pass a resolution to proceed with development.

The next steps in this process are to authorize disposition of lots through Council, prepare subdivision designs for each site, surveying, and appraisals.  It is expected that land could be for sale in the Spring of 2018.

Background 

In early 2017, the City and Yukon Government (YG) identified 13 parcels of land in 8 different Whitehorse neighbourhoods that could be developed for housing. Depending on the location, each could have between 1 and 5 housing lots.  Three parcels were ultimately excluded due to technical concerns.

An initial survey about development potential and existing uses of these green space areas was conducted in May-June 2017, and a summary was created. Environmental background work was also completed.  These documents can be accessed at the links below:

Based on this information, City has developed more detailed lot layout and zoning information and Council has voted to proceed to a second round of consultation. 

The updated lot layout proposals attempt to balance a need for housing with the importance of retaining local green spaces, while incorporating the input that has been received to date.     

To review the new proposed lot layouts, click on the links below:

Country Residential

Urban Residential

Note that the lot lines shown in these maps are approximate and may could be slightly adjusted through the survey process if development were to proceed.

Next Steps

Process diagram

A formal Council decision is needed on whether to proceed with development. That decision would be made via a zoning amendment bylaw.  The City introduced this bylaw into the Council forum on September 18th.  A public hearing on this bylaw would coincide with the closing of the survey and public consultation on October 23rd.  However, a final decision to proceed with development or not would not occur until early November. 

Comments collected through the survey and email will be included as input for the public hearing in October.

Further opportunities for public input are still being considered by the City and a decision will be made once the school year resumes to avoid the remainder of the summer season.

Advertising of future public input opportunities will occur through the City website, ads (e.g. online, newspapers), signs on properties, and direct letters to nearby residents. 

FAQ

Why is the City considering new lots in existing neighbourhoods?

Whitehorse has a steadily growing population that requires additional housing. The major focus for housing development since 2012 has been Whistle Bend, which is expected to provide housing for another 10+ years. The City is considering additional housing lots in existing neighbourhoods to augment supply to help ease housing price escalation and keep homes affordable for families.

Why is the City examining the possibility of new lots in my neighbourhood?

As there is a temporary gap in lot availability in Whistle Bend, it is important to get additional supply to market in the short term. By developing housing lots in existing neighbourhoods, there isn’t a need to construct new infrastructure (roads/sewer/water). This is also a way to more efficiently use existing City services.

How did the City choose the proposed development areas?

The urban sites (Magpie, Sandpiper, Wilson) were chosen as they already have zoning that would allow housing development and they are adjacent to servicing. The country residential sites (Talus/Moraine, Fireweed, Salmon) were chosen based on contour mapping and site visits. The City is also undertaking some background work regarding environmental issues (geotech/hydrology).

Locations identified are supported for development by policies in the Official Community Plan (OCP) and Sustainability Plan. The City is not aware of significant recreational uses in these locations. Within the urban containment boundary (UCB, as shown on Map 5 of the OCP) all parcels are already zoned for development. Outside the UCB, all parcels would also need rezoning prior to any development. The OCP would only support country residential development 

What could get built on the proposed development sites?

The current proposal is for housing development, so any sites that move forward would have some type of residential use constructed on them. This could take the form of single family (with or without a suite), duplex, or (for urban locations only) multiple family construction. Typically, when new housing is integrated into existing built areas the new housing should be similar in form and scale to the existing housing. It is important to get input from local residents to help integrate any new development into the neighbourhood.

When might the lots be available?

There is significant Council and public process that needs to be completed prior to lot sales. If this results in a Council decision to proceed, it is expected that a lottery could be held late in 2017 or early 2018. 

How can I purchase one of these lots?

If the proposed lots proceed through the Council approval processes, there would likely be two separate (but simultaneous) land lotteries, as some of the lots are owned by the City and some are owned by the Yukon Government. If the proposed development areas move forward to sale, each government will be advertising, watch your local newspaper and the government websites.

How do I send my input to the City?

You can provide comments to the City emailing housinglots@whitehorse.ca. The first round of consultation, an information-gathering survey, was held from May 24th to June 18th. Future opportunities for input will be advertised widely.

How can I get more information?

All of the relevant information should be located on this webpage (www.whitehorse.ca/housinglots). You can also get more information by emailing housinglots@whitehorse.ca.