It’s not the addition of more lots in Whistle Bend that was on the minds of some city councillors last week. It was the additional traffic that would come with them.
City council is being asked to rezone 25.8 hectares in Area C from future planning to public and residential zones to allow for more housing.
City planner Mathieu Marios told council last Tuesday that rezoning the land would create the opportunity for the supply of 117 single-family lots and four multi-family lots.
Council was also told rezoning the land would require the city to seek out new areas to serve as snow dumps.
Tracy Allen, the city’s director of operations, said the city is currently in discussion with the Yukon government about how long the city will have access to the existing snow dumps.
The city is looking at alternative sites and the cost of establishing the sites and operating them, she said.
Coun. Dan Boyd raised the issue regarding the additional traffic.
Under the original Whistle Bend plan, there were to be more access and egress routes that have not materialized, he pointed out.
While the access and egress routes have not materialized, he said, the city continues to use Whistle Bend as its only build-out area.
The councillor said he does not have the answer to his concerns, and neither does the city.
“I just want to go on record as saying we need to start thinking about further build-out on the Whistle Bend area until we get our Transportation Master Plan done, and that is still the better part of a year away,” he said.
City manager Mike Gau noted Areas A, B, and C were added to the original Whistle Bend plan through an amendment to the Official Community Plan.
As part of the amendment, research was undertaken and a study on the implications for traffic was included, he noted.
Gau said staff will review the traffic study and report back to council.
There are, he noted, still several steps in front of council to approve the amendment.
He said delaying the approval of Phases 10 and 11 of the Whistle Bend development could result in a gap in the housing supply – which could have consequences for housing prices.
It would be nice to have the new Traffic Master Plan available, but that plan is still a year or more away from completion, Gau pointed out.
Coun. Ted Laking told his colleagues on council Mountainview Drive was designed long before Whistle Bend was built.
The city, he said, is putting more and more pressure on Mountainview Drive, and Whistle Bend is continuing to grow.
The question around the implications of a growing subdivision on the transportation network should have been dealt with a year ago or even longer ago, he said.
First reading of the bylaw required to approve the zoning amendment is scheduled to go before council at tonight’s meeting.