Whitehorse Daily Star

Copper Ridge apartment complex planned

Local developer Patrick McLarnon has applied to the city to receive its development incentive worth up to $500,000 over 10 years to build a 12-unit apartment complex in Copper Ridge.

By Whitehorse Star on September 5, 2019

Local developer Patrick McLarnon has applied to the city to receive its development incentive worth up to $500,000 over 10 years to build a 12-unit apartment complex in Copper Ridge.

City administration is recommending approval of the application. City council is scheduled to vote on the recommendation Monday.

Under the incentive policy, developers can receive a maximum grant of $50,000 each year after they pay all property taxes owed.

A primary condition of the policy requires that the apartments be managed as rental properties for at least 10 years; otherwise, property owners must reimburse city hall any incentive money they’ve received.

“The proponent has provided appropriate site plans and construction drawings and has been issued a development permit for the project,” city council was told at its meeting Tuesday night.

“The two-storey building consists of 12 one-bedroom units. This project also received funding through Yukon Housing Corporation’s Housing Initiatives fund.”

McLarnon is planning on building the apartment complex at 51 Keewenaw Dr.

Council passed its incentive policy in 2011 as a means of encouraging developers to provide more rental accommodations to the market in an attempt to create more affordable housing.

Senior city planner Mike Ellis told council Tuesday there was both support and concern expressed by neighbours last year when the Keewenaw lot was rezoned from commercial to multi-residential.

Bringing forward the proposal for a development incentive and plans for a 12-unit apartment complex is the first time area residents will learn of what’s planned for the site, Ellis said.

Coun. Steve Roddick applauded the addition of the rental units.

But he also wondered what eliminating the commercial lot would mean for the neighbourhood and proximity to store front space in the future, he said.

Roddick offered caution about creating an issue of access within walking distance by building housing density further away from bus stops and the commercial sector.

Comments (15)

Up 15 Down 2

Sharlene weihers on Sep 11, 2019 at 3:43 pm

I’ve lived in my house for 9 years and this eyesore is being built right in front of me, I have 14 windows staring into my place now.... Cram us in even tighter, it’s Yukon living at its finest right!?

Up 8 Down 9

Just an ordinary man on Sep 9, 2019 at 9:00 pm

To “just an ordinary girl” - Having the space to be yourself and apart from others is psychologically healthy. Having your own space to retreat to is an absolute fundamental human requirement. We live under a scripted delusion regarding the notion of limited space, carrying capacities, population explosions, finite resources and so on.

These ideas are meant to keep people in a constant state of competition as a means to divide and conquer the general public. None of these things are true. Yet people like you keep the pot stirred. Quit feeding the chaos. Throw off your yoke - be free - ffs!

Learn to think or, if you believe you know how, choose to think - ffs!
Every person in the world could fit inside Alaska and have a standard sized home with a standard sized lot or in Australia with a 1/4 acre size lot. What you are being sold is ridiculous. And what you are doing is inviting your own subjugation!

Next time you see a realtor or someone from a government land-use planning office take the time to mentally envisage yourself spitting at their feet. They are in large measure responsible for this current mess. If you know someone who has purchased more than one home as part of the spec-market do the same. Do not actually spit on anyone though - it’s gross and potentially a criminal offence of assault.

Next time you say something ask yourself if it’s true or can reasonably be assumed to be true.
Enjoy - Overpopulation Debunked: Every Person in World Could Fit Inside Australia w/ 1/4 Acre of Land Each


Up 11 Down 5

N/A on Sep 9, 2019 at 1:04 pm

With the current housing crisis in Whitehorse, I welcome any and ALL new rental options. Home owners may feel subject to renters' actions in and around their rental unit, however, there is a much bigger issue at hand. Homelessness. We all see it. This is a step in the right direction to improve the city.

Up 10 Down 6

Jackson on Sep 9, 2019 at 12:58 pm

The reality is that there is no commercial / business case to build rental accommodations without subsidies. The cost of construction is too high and rent too low. Rental construction amortization targets are about 15 years, but current costs of construction would need to get down to less than ~$200/sq. ft. at $1200/unit for one-bedroom suites to meet that target. Typical small unit construction costs are over $300/sq. ft. Construction is still a business and business needs to make money to operate.

We have two choices accept much higher rents or subsidize construction of rental units. The alternative is simply no new market rental accommodations.

As far as re-zoning this lot, it had to be done. The land value is too high as originally zoned, in order to split it to accommodate single family housing. It's been vacant for years with no commercial interest stepping up to develop it. It probably wasn't well-advised to have planned for this as a commercial lot in the first place (IMO).

Up 21 Down 5

Don't be mad at the developer on Sep 8, 2019 at 5:06 pm

He's taking advantage of a development incentive that's been in place for a while, to encourage developers to do exactly what he's doing - build rental accommodations. If you're upset with anyone, go to Mayor and Council. I don't know what the cost to the developer will be but am sure it's a few million $$, so $500,000 over 10 years - although it's a lot of money - certainly isn't a windfall to someone building apartments

Up 49 Down 5

Sue on Sep 6, 2019 at 9:03 pm

I don’t necessarily disagree with building rental units on that vacant lot. What I find smarmy, and underhanded, is buying a commercial lot and then applying for rezoning of the lot. And, then the COW approves the re-zoning! That speaks of some kind of favouritism. I vehemently oppose providing a $500,000 grant to McLarnon over 10 years. McLarnon has won the jackpot! Getting this funding likely means he gets the lot for NOTHING, AND gets rental income of probably over $150,000 a year. That $500,000 is tax payer money and shouldn’t be “granted” (read given) to a business owner to profit from.

Up 29 Down 29

just an ordinary girl on Sep 6, 2019 at 4:21 pm

Wow, Cathleen...I'm so glad you don't have prejudices! Has it EVER occurred to you that there might be decent people who simply do not WANT to buy one of those overpriced, oversized, fancy woodpiles and be a slave of their bank for the next few decades?

Up 23 Down 43

Taxpayer on Sep 6, 2019 at 3:52 pm

Wow! I’ve never heard such belly aching. Calm down folks, there are already plenty of rentals in copper ridge and AirBNBs. Gosh if government worked the way these NIMBYs wanted, nothing would ever get done. “JUST BUILD WHAT YOU WANT! THERE GOES THE NEIGHBOURHOOD!” Wow... boomers are becoming like small children when introduced to change. They aren’t building a jail, and don’t worry, your precious house prices won’t be affected. Not on this crazy market. I’m sure there will be plenty of reasons to declare “THE SKY IS FALLING” down the road.

Up 31 Down 8

Wilf Carter on Sep 6, 2019 at 3:43 pm

This is an example of a weak OCP. We need to zone land for rental. Move the ball field at south access and build rental there. Across from the airport lots of land there.

Up 60 Down 14

BnR on Sep 6, 2019 at 11:10 am

"Coun. Steve Roddick applauded the addition of the rental units."
Easy to applaud them when they aren't in YOUR neighbourhood....
Millennials in charge.
What could go wrong....

Up 52 Down 9

Mark Chapman on Sep 6, 2019 at 1:22 am

Where is the city accountability? This should be subject to public review since the neighbours will be affected and it's our tax dollars they are giving way.

Up 44 Down 4

n/a on Sep 5, 2019 at 9:17 pm

This is all so short-sighted! Why didn't the city leave the commercial site for it's intended purpose and instead encourage, commission or otherwise support rentals being built on the lot at Falcon and Finch. There is a big, multi-family lot there that the city can't sell. Build something yourselves and render then rentals in perpetuity or at least longer term than 10 years! Surely half a million dollars can get Whitehorse better than that!

Up 40 Down 27

Cathleen on Sep 5, 2019 at 6:56 pm

So frustrating! This will undermine all the homeowners in Copper Ridge in that area and lower our personal and financial security. Who wants people who will party and show less concern for a place they don’t own?

Up 82 Down 10

joe on Sep 5, 2019 at 3:08 pm

You have got to be kidding. It was a commercial lot now the guy gets YHC grants and tax breaks for building rentals?

Up 69 Down 23

N/A on Sep 5, 2019 at 2:17 pm

This is complete BS. I was never approached that rentals were being built. That's the Yukon for you, residents are never approached or asked for their opinion. Just build whatever and wherever you want. There goes the neighborhood. Thanks alot city of Whitehorse

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.