Whitehorse Daily Star

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DEVELOPMENT ENVISIONED – Patrick McLarnon wants to develop townhouses at 51 Keewenaw Dr. in the Copper Ridge subdivision. Inset, top, Sandra Markman, Cory Kisser.

Townhouses would be an ‘eyesore,’ council told

Two residents who live near a proposed 10-unit townhouse development at 51 Keewenaw Dr. say the units would be out of place.

By Stephanie Waddell on June 12, 2018

Two residents who live near a proposed 10-unit townhouse development at 51 Keewenaw Dr. say the units would be out of place.

They also say the development would drive down property values in a Copper Ridge neighbourhood that features primarily single-detached and duplex homes.

“It’s basically going to be an eyesore,” Cory Kisser told city council Monday night. He spoke during a public hearing on the proposed rezoning of the lot.

The site is currently zoned as Neighbourhood Commercial. Property owner Patrick McLarnon is applying to have it changed to Residential Multiple Housing to allow for the townhouse plans to go ahead.

Kisser was the first of two people to speak at the public hearing last night.

Having viewed drawings of the plans, he told council, he believes the buildings – two five-unit two-storey structures with parking in between – aren’t very attractive and look out of place in the area.

If the city is going to change the zoning to a residential use, Kisser said, it should consider looking at subdividing the 3,600 square metre site into three lots.

It should then zone them for single-family or duplex housing that would fit better with the neighbourhood, Kisser told council.

Meanwhile, Sandra Markman, another resident of the area, argued there hasn’t been enough planning work done for the site.

There also doesn’t seem to be a lot of parking provided off the street, Markman argued.

With 10 units, she said, it’s possible 20 vehicles would be coming in and out of there daily.

“Please take a little more time,” Markman asked council, adding that “more homework needs to be done.”

Along with the two presentations at the hearing, the city received nine written submissions, said Valerie Braga, the city’s director of corporate services.

Of those, six are opposed to the proposal, two raised concerns and one expressed support.

This marks the second time McLarnon (the original owner of the property) has proposed to rezone the lot. The land has been vacant since it was created and put out to tender in 2005.

McLarnon has told city officials there has been no uptake on the lot as a commercial property, given its close 1.5-kilometre proximity to the Granger Mall.

In 2011, council turned down his application to rezone the property to Comprehensive Neighbourhood Commercial (CNC), which would have at that time allowed for residential development.

In a report to council before first reading of the rezoning bylaw, Mélodie Simard, the city’s planning and sustainability manager, noted: “Allowing for the lot to have a stand-alone residential development would reduce the commercial opportunities potentially available in Copper Ridge.

“However, given the low-density development style of Copper Ridge, and the close proximity to businesses in Granger, it is understandable that the feasibility of commercial establishments could be a challenge at the site.”

While the lot is zoned commercial, under the Official Community Plan, the area is designated Residential-Urban. That allows “for a variety of serviced residential development in close proximity to service and amenities.”

The plan, Simard highlighted, encourages residential neighbourhoods being built to feature the basics for residents to “live, work, and play in their day-to-day lives.

“Building complete communities also means providing variety in the mix of housing types available in neighbourhoods in order to meet a variety of housing preferences and needs.”

A report on the public hearing will come forward to council next week, with a vote on the final two readings expected on June 25.

Comments (14)

Up 5 Down 0

Stu Panton on Jun 15, 2018 at 11:58 pm

Josey you are the voice of reason on this one.

"The CoW has zero concern about eyesores, real or alleged.
If they did have concerns about said topic, our community would not have composted so very quickly. That is real, not alleged."

Up 6 Down 0

Torn A. Sunder on Jun 14, 2018 at 5:25 pm

@jason - maybe if we shut off the lights and be very quiet they will go away!

Up 18 Down 6

On da Ridge on Jun 13, 2018 at 4:22 pm

This isn't about anti-development, it's about moving the goalposts mid game.

I built in Copper Ridge 15 years ago within eye-shot of this location. Jamming a 10 unit town house in there is not what existing home owners have signed on for. They were aware and expected a commercial development there and that's what should go in there. Property values and COW taxes hinge on what services are available and what services are potentially available.

If the property owner is too inept to make a go of a commercial development than that is not the problem of the existing neighbourhood residents, that's HIS problem. I suggest he sell the lot to someone capable of developing this within existing zoning.

Up 14 Down 4

Sillig on Jun 13, 2018 at 2:43 pm

Oh, and I wouldn't for a second think these are going to be 'affordable' units. Realtors and land speculators have jacked everything way too high once again with their propaganda. They will be 450 to 550k...because that's the market...blah

Up 19 Down 4

Sillig on Jun 13, 2018 at 11:34 am

Hard job in this City. Must be an opening in Planning Dept soon. The land is there but the NIMBYS come out to protest. Tough job.

Up 13 Down 18

Jason on Jun 13, 2018 at 8:52 am

If we oppose every development, where do we hope to put people?

Up 19 Down 5

Trevor Howard on Jun 13, 2018 at 7:44 am

It's my belief the Whitehorse planning counsel should be fired.
When you drive around the new Whistle Bend subdivision it shows how badly the planning was done. First off, there are groups of single family homes spread out throughout the area. After many of the new homes were finished, townhouses went up not only blocking the view but a wall of windows looking down upon your home and garden. There was no thought into privacy for the single family homes. Groups of single family homes should always be separated by a a park or green area.
Take some time to think about the people who are taking huge mortgages to stare at a wall of windows. I am looking to see how the next stage plays out.

Up 9 Down 21

Sharlene jefferson on Jun 13, 2018 at 12:51 am

I feel they should build these town homes. Everyone has the right to be able to live in a nice home and area that they can afford. Just because there are single homes, that should not stop the town homes from being built.
Also, more cars means more retail sales in nearby stores. So yes, it's a win, win situation.

Up 9 Down 6

Josey Wales on Jun 12, 2018 at 11:01 pm

One observation if I may?
The CoW has zero concern about eyesores, real or alleged.
If they did have concerns about said topic, our community would not have composted so very quickly.
That is real, not alleged.
Now playing dress up and pandering as their indoctrination says they should...much concern is given to that optic.
Shamefully real that is too.
As per and in summary, our civic overlords care for themselves and their entitlements...driven with delusional ideological fantasies.

Our “actual” community and the citizens....not so much.

Up 4 Down 15

Ckara Rempel on Jun 12, 2018 at 9:21 pm

Maybe architectural design change and colour would help the townhouses fit in. I am thinking about the chronic shortage of affordable housing. There could be less units. I think it would be unfortunate not to build some housing, because the need for affordable housing is becoming increasingly rare.

Up 11 Down 3

Copper Ridge on Jun 12, 2018 at 7:12 pm

Do you know that under the current zoning, he is allowed to build commercial such as pub, restaurant and off sales plus an apartment building? It will be a lot more traffic if the zoning stays, no?

Up 23 Down 4

Joe on Jun 12, 2018 at 5:13 pm

Stop rezoning for developers who knew what they bought. Or let them turn them back in at a reduced price.

Up 21 Down 3

Eyesore? on Jun 12, 2018 at 4:43 pm

Townhouses will be an eyesore amongst the houses with $1.00/sf vinyl siding and that haven't been landscaped since being built 18 years ago? SMH.

Up 11 Down 3

Local guy on Jun 12, 2018 at 4:07 pm

I think town housing is an absolute joke for that area. If I had the money I would make it a 7-11 and gas bar.

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