City staff are recommending that council move ahead with second and third readings on a zoning amendment that would trigger plans for a 10-unit micro-housing development.
The proposed amendments would take out one required off-street parking spot.
It would leave five spots on the site rather than six, and waive the requirement for private amenity space, such as a balcony, for eight of the 10 units.
Proposed is a rooftop patio that would exceed the size regulations for both shared and private amenity space.
360 Design Build is proposing to build the four-storey structure that would also feature 251 square metres of commercial space.
The project is proposed as an affordable housing initiative, with 360 Design Build approved for $500,000 from the territory to build it.
Under the initiative, the units must be kept as affordable, with 360 proposing a rent of $795 per month for tenants.
“The applicant is proposing a significant amount of development on this 329 square metre lot, which is sized smaller than typical downtown lots that measure 464 square metres,” city planning
manager Pat Ross noted in his report to council Monday evening.
“The applicant has stated they cannot scale back the intensity of development, as they want to ensure it is economically feasible, hence the two zoning requests.”
Concerns over parking have dominated much of the council discussion, and were cited by residents of the area during the public hearing process last month.
Three residents addressed council directly at the public hearing. Another eight written submissions were also received expressing concern or outright opposition to the proposed amendment.
Many have noted that it’s already difficult to find a parking spot on Hawkins Street during the day Mondays to Fridays.
It’s been suggested that reducing the required parking spots even by just one would put further pressure on parking in the downtown area.
In his report Monday evening, Ross pointed out the current Downtown Parking Management Plan, adopted in 2011, recommends gradually expanding the two-hour unmetered parking zone in the
The idea is to help ensure residents and customers of area shops get priority for parking in those areas rather than those driving downtown and parking for the full day.
“Implementing this recommendation on Hawkins Street, along with a residential parking permit program, could help to alleviate potential issues with parking availability related to the new
development,” Ross stated in his report.
“This would give on-street parking priority to short-term visitors and customers while allowing residents to park longer than two hours.
“The city will be undertaking an update to the Downtown Parking Management Plan in 2017, which will include a review of zoning regulations concerning off-street parking requirements.”
Parking continued to be the focus of discussion for council at Monday night’s meeting.
Councillors Rob Fendrick and Betty Irwin wondering if one of the area’s major employers – the Yukon government – is looking at ways to deal with the parking situation.
“Wouldn’t it be nice if YG offered more transit services to its employees?” Fendrick quipped.
While the city runs the bus system, it has programs where it can work with large bodies to offer transit passes to a group.
Currently, it works with the territory’s Department of Education so that high school students can obtain a transit pass.
A similar program exists with Yukon College.
Meanwhile, Irwin wondered if the territory has looked at any ideas on how to provide its employees with more parking space.
Ross responded by saying he will try to get more details on that for council.
Other concerns brought forward through the public hearing focused on privacy concerns and the potential for noise from the proposed rooftop patio.
There were also anxieties about the 15-m height not being in character with other buildings on the street, issues over water drainage and garbage collection, and more.
Ross responded by pointing out the patio would be toward the rear of the roof where it would face Jim Light Park. It would not be adjacent to properties, and any noise issues would be dealt with
through the city’s maintenance bylaw.
He also noted that Hawkins Street includes buildings that vary from one to four storeys, and that the proposed 15-m height is within the 20-m height limit for the area outlined in the zoning bylaw.
“Allowing 20-m heights helps to meet the Official Community Plan’s objectives of promoting the mix of multiple-housing and commercial uses to increase the vitality of downtown,” Ross stated in his
Finally, it was acknowledged that there have been some water issues in the area, generated by road heaves, with future roadwork recommended to address the issue.
Drainage mitigation is also addressed through the development permit process.
The city would also deal with other issues, such as garbage collection, future development plans for the downtown and so on, its bylaws, policies and plans.
Council will vote on whether to move forward with the zoning amendments next week.
Monday’s session was council members’ first meeting since their Christmas-New Year’s break.