Photo by Whitehorse Star
Of 13 written submissions to the city regarding a proposed zoning amendment to reduce parking requirements for a Cook Street apartment development, eight were opposed.
Most of the eight opposing submissions said the lack of available parking and increasing on-street parking are already issues.
Three letters in support, on the other hand, note additional housing is a good thing.
The project proponent is planning an apartment complex at 410 Cook St. with 16 micro-units and two commercial spaces for lease.
The proponent is also asking to remove the requirement to provide two visitor parking spaces, and reduce the requirement for eight residential parking spaces to seven, according to the administrative report presented to council.
He is also asking to remove the need to provide one commercial parking space and instead pay the $16,000 required for not providing the space.
The public hearing into the required amendment to the zoning bylaw closed Monday.
Second and third readings of the bylaw are scheduled for city council’s March 22 meeting.
City administration is recommending the amendment to reduce parking requirements be approved.
A couple of the opposing submissions argue that developments like the one proposed should be built to the size that can be accommodated by the lot.
But developers consistently maximize the building footprint knowing that parking requirements will have to be reduced.
“If the request for a variance is because the developer feels there isn’t enough room for parking, then make the building envelope small enough that this important requirement can be met!” says one of the submissions.
“Time and again, we see developments in the downtown filling every square foot of space on a building lot leaving no room for adequate parking and the landscaping requirements that used to be in place.”
Another submission of opposition says they are in support of low-cost housing but have to question the parking variances.
“Once these variances have been granted, they affect the whole area and cannot be retracted,” says the submission.
It goes on to say even though the development is proposing micro-units, it doesn’t mean occupants won’t have vehicles.
Many people have vehicles – often more than one – that they use on a regular basis, says the submission.
“With these micro-units plus commercial space, it will already greatly increase the activity generated by this one lot, without further reducing its parking requirements,” the submission says.
“I feel that increasing density should actually increase the parking requirement rather than the reverse.”
One of the three submissions supporting the project says the city should be putting the needs of its residents first, and not parking requirements.
“As the city grows, we need to focus on having places for people to live, not places for cars to park,” says the submission.
“Yes, many people own cars, but not everyone does or wants to. Too often, lawmakers prioritize the needs of the former at the expense of the latter.”
The submission says the Cook Street location is a perfect spot for the apartment complex because of its close proximity to services downtown and to city transit stops.
The location will allow tenants to remain carless if they choose, it says.
The housing supply in the city, says the submission, is already behind the demand, and reducing the number of units to meet parking stall requirements would be counter-productive.
“I want to express my support for the proposed parking variance for the new housing project at 410 Cook Street,” says another supporting submission.
“This is a project that stands to increase the supply of affordable housing significantly.
“We need it, and I would not want to see the number of units reduced for the sake of providing more parking.”
The administrative report to council last month notes that on-street parking in the area is currently low.
Add your comments or reply via Twitter @whitehorsestar
In order to encourage thoughtful and responsible discussion, website comments will not be visible until a moderator approves them. Please add comments judiciously and refrain from maligning any individual or institution. Read about our user comment and privacy policies.
Your name and email address are required before your comment is posted. Otherwise, your comment will not be posted.
- COVID here for the long haul, Hanley says (48)
- Dixon: ‘We have put together a great team’ (35)
- NDP outlines plans to tackle addictions woes (31)
- Silver: ‘This has been the honour of my life’ (28)
- COVID restrictions spark protest rally (28)
- Election Undecided pending recount (23)
- Election sees Liberals held to a minority government (23)
- White sees ‘conversations’ in her near future (17)