Photo by Whitehorse Star
Photo by Whitehorse Star
Alpine Aviation is calling on city council to let it to keep year-round the structure it has placed at Schwatka Lake.
Addressing council Monday night, Alpine Aviation owner Gerd Mannsperger highlighted his appeal to a bylaw order that he remove the structure that was placed at Alpine’s site earlier this year.
He also said the company wants a long-term lease with the city for the location and to have winter storage space at the site.
As Mannsperger noted, Alpine Aviation, created in 1997, has been operating from Schwatka Lake since.
Along with its own operations, the company has a rescue boat and spill kit on hand for use by others who need it.
“We have displayed stewardship for 20 years,” Mannsperger said. Sections of the city’s Official Community Plan and Schwatka Lake area plan encourage longer-term lease arrangements, he noted.
Speaking specifically to the current situation, Mannsperger noted the existing structure that was put up this year is made up of two stacked Sea-Cans, creating a two-storey structure for office space and storage.
They’ve been placed in a way to allow for better traffic flow through the area, he said.
All required permits and inspections have been done, he said.
“The structure, therefore, meets any of the codes,” Mannsperger argued. The city has allowed for winter storage structures in other areas, he pointed out.
He then argued for council to consider his appeal on the order to remove the structure.
While council didn’t raise any questions with Mannsperger, Coun. Dan Boyd questioned city staff about the situation later in the meeting.
Pat Ross, the city’s acting director of development services, explained that every year, Alpine Aviation pulls a dock permit to use the site through the summer. In the past, it has had a trailer on the site along with occasionally having an RV there as well.
Last June, he said, the trailer that had been placed there was removed and the two-storey Sea-Can put in place.
That was done without the required permit. But after the bylaw department intervened, Alpine worked with the city to get the inspections and permits done to allow for the structure.
Alpine officials were co-operative and worked with the city on that, with the permits and such eventually approved. However, they also made it clear they wanted to pursue a more permanent lease for the area.
Ross explained the Schwatka Lake area plan doesn’t provide for permanency on the lake. He also noted there are different standards to be met for more permanent structures than is required for temporary structures.
The city also made it clear through the permits the structure would have to be moved by Oct. 31, Ross said.
On Nov. 7, with the structure not removed, the city issued the bylaw order for the removal that Mannsperger is now appealing.
Ross noted staff will soon be preparing a detailed report on the appeal. Council has the ability to cancel the order, modify it or keep it in place.
Coun. Samson Hartland was absent from last night’s meeting.
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