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Whitehorse mulls approving new country residential subdivision

City council was asked to consider the approval of a new privately-owned subdivision in Hidden Valley at the standing committee meeting Sept 5.

The proposed subdivision is close to some proposed infill lots the city is currently considering in Hidden Valley. Some homeowners in the country residential zones are concerned that additional lots in these zoning areas would put a strain on water tables and septic systems in some areas.

The proponent, EVEM Ltd., has already submitted some geotechnical and hydrological reports pertaining to this, but the city has asked for and is waiting on additional testing information, said Pat Ross, the city's manager of land and building services.

Staff recommended the city approve the development on the condition that geotechnical and hydrological reports "demonstrate the feasibility and adequacy of on-site servicing."

Staff also recommended that part of a proposed development for the project would include delaying the development of two of the parcels, due to concerns "about the recent performance of the storm drainage infrastructure and potential impacts to proposed parcels," Ross told council.

While the land is privately owned, city council is required to approve via bylaw subdivision developments of six lots or more, Ross said.

The proposed subdivision would involve divvying up an approximately 14-hectare parcel of land owned by EVEM into six country residential lots. The proposed lots would be just over one hectare each, the minimum requirement for country residential properties, said Ross.

The proposed development would also mean the creation of one future development lot, a walkway, a public utility lot and an access road, the proposed name of which is Stehelin Drive. The road would be built by EVEM to city standards, Ross said, and then turned over to the city once it was complete as part of the subdivision process.

There would be no lottery process for the proposed lots, as they are not public property. How those lots get sold — and when and to whom — is not something the city would have a say in, said Ross.

"That's entirely up to the developer," he said. "As we've seen in the market, country residential lots are going for between $200,000 to $250,000. This is what we've seen the market prepared to pay."

In conjunction with this, council is also considering a second bylaw that would approve the purchase of a utility lot currently attached to the parcel for the price of $15,600. If approved, the money would come from the cash-in-lieu portion of the public land use dedicated reserve, Ross said.

If the EVEM subdivision is not approved, the plan to purchase the utility lot would also be scrapped, Ross said.

Both items will go before council for their first and second readings at the regular council meeting Sept. 11.

Contact Lori Garrison at lori.garrison@yukon-news.com

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