The Ta’an Kwäch’än Council could add nearly 50 more homes to its settlement land if two proposals go ahead as planned.
At the Whitehorse City Council meeting on September 7, the First Nation’s two rezoning applications were presented. They would see a site in Porter Creek and a site in Whistle Bend rezoned for future development as residential areas.
The largest of the sites would be 2.1 hectares on Birch Street in Porter Creek to develop 25 single-family lots, with a layout adding mobile homes to the list of main buildings for the lots. The site is part of a larger settlement land of 4.35 hectares, with the remainder of the TKC land to remain as future development.
Immediately south of this property is a city water main which cannot be developed. Further south on Birch Street are residential lots, while to the north is a roadside commercial site. The Alaska Highway and Wann Road area is to the east while the land behind the property to the west is zoned for environmental protection.
The other rezoning would see a one-hectare site on Witch Hazel Drive designated as a full residential townhouse to allow for the construction of 24 townhouses. The site sits within a 20 hectare parcel of TKC settlement land.
As Mathieu Marois, the city’s acting manager of planning and sustainability services, said in reports to council on each, the developments stem from a 2019 survey the First Nation conducted of its citizens, which identified affordable housing as a major issue.
In either case, the First Nation would furnish the homes and serve as the landlord, with the citizens renting the properties.
As he noted of the Porter Creek plans: “The (single residential) zone allows TKC to provide a mix of housing for its citizens in conjunction with other residential development on TKC Settlement Parcel C-9B (at Whistle Bend), also undergoing the rezoning process and intended for townhouses.
“Furthermore, the proposed residential development aims to provide affordable housing for TKC citizens in immediate housing need and allowing mobile homes as a primary use provides a greater variety of housing options, allowing TKC to house its citizens cost-effectively and quickly. .”
The report points out that in both cases the proposed zoning would be compatible with the zoning of other developments in the same area.
To the south of the proposed site for the townhouse on Witch Hazel Drive is land zoned as multi-residential while to the west is a site zoned for single family homes. To the east and north are undeveloped forested areas which are also owned by the First Nation and are currently zoned as future planning.
While council members did not speak directly about the proposed developments themselves, the councilor. Ted Laking again argued that Whistle Bend’s continued growth indicates the city needs to plan more for roads in the area. He described the current traffic situation out of Whistle Bend as “increasing frustration” for neighborhood residents as well as Porter Creek, with commuters from both neighborhoods using Mountainview Drive to get in and out of downtown.
“I think we need to accelerate the planning associated with traffic infrastructure in Whistle Bend because that appears to be the only area in the short to medium term where we see continued growth in the city,” Laking said. , then asking for an update on the city’s transportation master plan.
City manager Jeff O’Farrell said work on the plan is continuing as planned with an update for council due in October.
Council will vote on the first reading of the rezoning for each of the two TKC sites at its September 12 meeting. If passed, separate public hearings on each rezoning would take place at the October 11 council meeting with reports on each submission on October 24 before second and third readings on November 7.
Contact Stephanie Waddell at [email protected]