Whitehorse Daily Star

Image title

Photo by Whitehorse Star

Ted Hupé

Education association building plan goes before city council

City council voted Monday to bring forward a zoning amendment to accommodate a two-storey office building on Black Street proposed by the Yukon Association of Education Professionals.

By Chuck Tobin on May 11, 2022

City council voted Monday to bring forward a zoning amendment to accommodate a two-storey office building on Black Street proposed by the Yukon Association of Education Professionals.

Under the existing mixed use waterfront zoning, property owners are restricted to using a maximum of 50 per cent of the ground floor as office space. It also requires the building to have at least two uses.

The association representing teachers and other education professionals has asked for an amendment that would allow it to use the entire building for its required office space.

The amendment request also includes less-restrictive requirements for window sizes.

Council voted unanimously to bring forward the bylaw needed to approve the amended zoning.

Association president Ted Hupé explained in an interview Tuesday the association has owned the property next to the new Black Street fire hall for 10 years.

He explained the association requires the zoning amendment because it does not fit the mould of a typical business.

The way it is now, he said, the bylaw wants business and retail space to be incorporated into the design.

“But we are a not-for-profit entity and we cannot rent out space,” he said.

Hupé said if the zoning amendments are passed by council this summer, the association would begin construction as soon as it can.

It would like to be in the new building within 18 months to two years, he said.

“The contractor tells us if we can get the zoning amendments this summer, he can build it in a year,” Hupé said.

“I am always cautiously optimistic, but if we can get in there in 18 months, I would be happy about that.”

He said it’s too early in the project proposal to share the approximate cost of the a building.

The lot, Hupé pointed out, is directly across Second Avenue from the Council of Yukon First Nations and a stone’s throw from the Kwanlin Dün Cultural Centre.

Hupé described the area as a First Nations cultural hub.

“We want to be there,” he said.

He said staff are planning what they’re referring to as a reconciliation garden on site, with native shrubs and plants.

The association wants to be a good neighbour, he added.

The administrative report provided to council last week notes the building would accommodate up to 10 staff and provide space for meetings and training opportunities for teachers to use outside school hours.

Coun. Jocelyn Curteanu asked at Monday’s meeting whether approving the zoning amendments for the proposal would set a precedent for future requests for zoning amendments in the mixed use waterfront zone.

But senior officials said approving the amendments would not set a precedent; that future applications for zoning amendments would be assessed on a case-by-case basis.

Comments (2)

Up 4 Down 6

Dave on May 13, 2022 at 6:47 am

No wonder they changed their name.
True professionals those complaining teachers.

Up 6 Down 5

Max Mack on May 12, 2022 at 8:00 am

I find Hupe's argument that they cannot rent out space because "they are a not-for-profit" to be dubious.

Consider Both Challenge and Safe-at-home -- both of which are supposed to be non-profits and both of which are involved in the rental game.

Besides, most small landlords are de facto not-for-profits because of the Lib/NDP ban on raising rents above CPI. Right?
Why do certain people and certain groups get favourable treatment for exemptions to the rules that the rest of us plebs must follow?

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.