Whitehorse Daily Star

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Coun. Dan Boyd

Tread carefully on housing incentive: Boyd

City council might want to tread softly when it comes to promoting densification of neighbourhoods, Coun. Dan Boyd cautioned at Monday night’s meeting.

By Chuck Tobin on January 22, 2020

City council might want to tread softly when it comes to promoting densification of neighbourhoods, Coun. Dan Boyd cautioned at Monday night’s meeting.

Boyd noted the city’s revised incentive program to encourage housing developments (see story below) calls on developers to achieve at least 90 per cent of the allowable housing density in a particular neighbourhood before they are eligible for the incentive.

If the incentive is set at 90 per cent, that’s what developers will be building to, he said.

The councillor said densification makes the city more affordable but it also has other ramifications, such as pushing more parking to the street.

Some neighbourhoods may not be ready for such a change so quickly, he suggested.

Boyd noted how council is already hearing concerns over parking for some projects.

“I am just a little concerned we are trying to push too hard, too fast at times,” he told his colleagues on council.

“So I think that incentive is sort of conflicting sometimes with what the community would like, is calling for or would prefer to have. Maybe not so dense.”

Boyd suggested council take a look at the 90 per cent densification requirement.

City administration is proposing to revise the housing incentive policy that was initiated in 2012.

It proposes that apartment buildings that achieve the 90 per cent density in a residential multi-family zone be eligible for the incentive package.

Projects would be required to provide one parking stall per housing unit.

The proposal is primarily aimed at the new Whistle Bend subdivision, says the administrative report.

City planner Kinden Kosick told council Whistle Bend has been designed to accommodate that type of housing density.

Coun. Steve Roddick suggested change is not all bad.

He said he feels that a lot of the issues surrounding on-street parking arise out of a lack of management of on-street parking in sections of the city.

There are cities he knows of which have removed parking requirements altogether, cities which have effective management of on-street parking, he said.

Roddick said they have visitor passes for on-street parking, and effective transit services in areas where people know they will not have parking, that they’ll have to make other arrangements to get around.

Increasing the density, he suggested, would put pressure on the municipal services to allow them to do that.

Roddick said he thinks resistance to change is rooted in hanging on to how things have been done in the past. But the harder we hang on, the harder it is to do things differently, he said.

Roddick said he would like to hear more feedback on the new incentive policy from the public and developers.

Comments (31)

Up 4 Down 1

Charlie's Aunt on Jan 28, 2020 at 7:04 pm

@ Jimbo; no we are not whiny southerners. In case you failed to notice, Yukoners enjoy their recreation whether it be camping or accessing sports facilities. Latter is often in evening, do you expect them to walk several miles from A - B especially in winter? Just as Jayne said, those of us who have lived here for many years appreciate having a vehicle close by for emergencies of any kind. Try hiking a sick family member around the block to find your car to go to emerg - oh wait there's a bus every 5 mins, 24/7! Retirees can't always walk far, a vehicle might be the one piece of independence they have left. They don't always use their vehicles every day and there is a 72 hr limit on street parking in some places. Street parking also means wider roads needed and it can be dangerous.
City has already made noise about RVs being parked on our own property, too close to road in winter because they may reduce visibility. What do you think a row of parked cars do when you are trying to pull out of a side street? Oops, sorry for T-boning you, I couldn't see around that parked car. Not to worry about evacuation Jayne, I'm sure Roddick has thought this out and will make sure there are a bunch of new buses to transport everyone with Instant pick up at all front doors.

Up 11 Down 1

Jayne W on Jan 28, 2020 at 3:45 pm

By reducing vehicle ownership all I can think of is when we have to evacuate the city, and yes it will happen eventually....forest fires, chemical spills etc.... are we going to all walk out of here? I sleep better at night knowing in the winter the car is close, plugged in and ready to go if need be. (same with the summer close to me) I do suggest in their Safety plan for the Fire evacuation to make sure there are buses going around the City and getting residents out of here.

Up 17 Down 1

Salt on Jan 27, 2020 at 7:55 pm

My god, to think that you probably vote.

Up 14 Down 1

Holly Watt-Dafuch on Jan 27, 2020 at 6:38 pm

Dear Jimbo - There is nothing in your post that indicates progress. Denser cities are not more liveable. They are centres for behavioural and biological contagions. They are centres for the production of the mass animal - Creatures who unwittingly invite their own subjugation because - Ooh, what a party it will be with all those living in harmony so close in their proximity. It will make quarantining for such things as the coronavirus all that much easier.

Block C inhabitants are now on lockdown due to the detection of the Sheeple Virus - The symptoms are: doing as you are told regardless of the consequences, going along to get along, diminished critical thought, invitations to loss of freedoms, a belief that voting is democracy, signs of blind faith adherence to authority, and the propensity to use the word “awesome” in reference to the actions of others, the ideas of others, and/or a general sense of oblivion in which things are awesome just because they, are.

The Sheeple Virus does impair executive functioning leading to impulsive ramblings about the goodness of being sheep-like, wanting to being sheep-like, and ultimately, in the latent stages, encouraging others to be sheep-like. If you have a tendency to want to make things fun, to say things to others like - “you’re killing it!”, or you are constantly asserting the need for another study on a very well known and very obvious problem, such as student attendance, then you likely have the Sheeple Virus. Please head to the nearest quarantine centre as the health of the flock depends on it.

Up 6 Down 30

Jimbo on Jan 27, 2020 at 4:16 pm

Bunch of whiny southerners in this thread. Last week at 40 below, I left my car at home like a sensible person and took the bus to work. There were folks on that bus with bare ankles, cowboy hats and all manner of people taking the bus like business as usual.

Just because you're too scared to go out in the cold doesn't mean the rest of us are. I welcome a denser, more walkable and more livable city.
You can't stop progress and not everyone wants to own a camper and 6 parked cars to keep in the driveway anymore. Those that do have lots of options already.

Thanks to Councillor Roddick and others for making these important changes. If developers don't like the incentive requirements, they can always build without it. Isn't that the beauty of free enterprise everyone is always talking about?

Up 28 Down 2

Charlie's Aunt on Jan 27, 2020 at 3:14 pm

Way to go Roddick, out to lunch again. Europe has many houses with only on street parking because land is scarce with old buildings from horse/buggy era; that is not the situation here. A quick read of UK press will tell you of the number of incidents where neighbors are beating one another up for parking in front of someone else's house so they have to park 1/2 mile away & upset someone else. Is this what we want or need? As others said plugging in across the sidewalk is a great idea if you want to be sued when someone trips. Ticking off your neighbors in next block because you parked there, dropping your 3 bags of groceries on the way to your house, elderly/disabled having to walk to get to their home - absolute idiocy from an outer space alien.

Up 4 Down 36

Davis on Jan 27, 2020 at 9:33 am

I agree with Roddick that a change is needed. People always resist change, no matter what it is.

Up 21 Down 1

Miles Epanhauser on Jan 26, 2020 at 12:56 pm

I am horrified by how our mayor and council works.
It seems as if they only respond to the average taxpayer if a mass of people show up in council. Council lacks the stick in the mud personalities like Dave Stockdale and Duke Connelly who stood up for the fine people who were the fabric of our small friendly city.

The town has become a haven for drug dealers and violence and entitled people who drive like gas is only 20 cents per gallon.
It really concerns me that Whitehorse has gone sideways and backwards and council happily continues to give it all away.

Unfortunately, it may not change any time soon and behind the entitlement is aggression and greed and a civic society based upon taking basic things away and giving them to connected insiders.
You have to ask yourself where has this happened before and where did that society or country go.

Up 21 Down 4

I. B. Skaird on Jan 25, 2020 at 10:23 pm

Dear Resident or did you mean Resignation?

Increased densification creates more herd mentalities, greater incubation repositories for bacterial and viral outbreaks, greater human conflict, more opportunities for surveillance, greater collective impulsivity, more psychological/mental health issues, intellectual and creative singularities, and a generalized dumbing down of the collective. There would be an exponential curtailment of your freedoms; more rules, regulations, guidelines etc.

I have to question your motives or your intelligence. Help me out here! Because a lot of you people are really starting to scare me with your willingness to be controlled, manipulated and to consequently dispossess yourselves of your rights and freedoms in support of a fascistic system of governance predicated on the foundations of relative moral values.

Things that make you go - WTF!?!?

Up 7 Down 18

Rolf on Jan 25, 2020 at 7:43 pm

I don't think fringe people outside of the city limits should be commenting on this as they really have no poker in the fire. They should just enjoy the fact that a lot of them squatted then threw up a fire killed fence and now want to call the shots for those paying full fare.

Up 1 Down 14

BB on Jan 25, 2020 at 3:35 pm

PS - I should add that many industry groups are pulling strings with politicians to get them to do the same nefarious manipulation, they are just better at putting curtains on the windows so you don't see what they are up to. Steve is more transparent about his games, and that is to his credit. I'll give him that much.

Up 19 Down 5

BB on Jan 25, 2020 at 3:33 pm

I like and respect that Steve Roddick is trying to put a finger in the dike to hold back the flood of human destruction on our ecosystem. What I do not like is manipulation and dishonesty of any kind when doing that. I remember his motion that bnb's be regulated to death in order to force property owners to create rental units for long term residents who need housing. Again, the idea of sufficient rental housing is good, but using his position as a city councillor to create laws to supposedly 'regulate an industry' which in reality are being used to beat the industry to death is dishonest and manipulative.

He seems to have a natural talent for that. Not good.
We are on the same side of many issues, but I don't like Mr. Roddick's style.

Up 43 Down 1

Salt on Jan 25, 2020 at 8:54 am

The goal of what Roddick is proposing is to reduce vehicle ownership by using government development policy to make it inconvenient or impossible to own a car, forcing people into public transportation or taxi’s/ride sharing. That’s how it “works” in winter temps. Anyone who suggests the use of such social engineering bs is unfit to lead in any capacity.

Up 39 Down 2

Mick on Jan 24, 2020 at 6:06 pm

Roddick continues to prove he wasn’t ready for prime time. It was obvious to many that when he needed Jan Stick to hold his trembling hand through the election. Recently he declared a Climate Emergency (I’m not a climate change denier for the record) then a week later he bought COW half a dozen DIESEL busses and now this nonsense. Clearly this guy is simply grandstanding for a future federal or territorial run as an NDPer.

We need to be able to recall rogue politicians at all levels.

Up 34 Down 1

Jim on Jan 24, 2020 at 5:06 pm

I seriously worry about the thinking of Steve Roddick, or any of the council that thinks no parking for rental units, or condos in a city that sees -40 is OK. What municipality is he flapping his gums about? Most likely far south of here, because as a previous comment stated, extension cords running out to street for parked vehicles may prove to be a problem. Maybe they plan on putting meters in with plug-ins on them. What worries me is even with this level of incompetence, he is in a position to make changes that defy common sense.

Up 40 Down 1

My Two Cents on Jan 24, 2020 at 9:01 am

How will effective management of on-street parking work at temperatures like we had last week? People in Vancouver do not need to plug in their vehicles, we often need to in the winter.

Up 27 Down 4

Groucho d'North on Jan 23, 2020 at 3:03 pm

You are absolutely correct, taxes will go up and the community will grow outwards consuming more wilderness acerage and turning it into highly engineered neighbourhood development. That's because many people in the Langley, Abbotsford and Chilliwack areas have had enough densification that they are now looking elsewhere to live. Interior cities like Prince George and Smithers are feeling it too. We will continue to grow because other places continue to grow and the ripple effect eventually reaches us and beyond.

Up 8 Down 50

Resident on Jan 23, 2020 at 12:47 pm

So I guess you're all on board for higher taxes and higher lot prices. Those large spaced-out lots come at a cost. More pump stations, more water reservoirs, more KMs of roads to plow, more sewer lines to maintain...

More sprawl, more animal conflicts, more cars, more costs.

Up 58 Down 9

Yukoner on Jan 23, 2020 at 11:29 am

Can the good citizens of Whitehorse who voted for Roddick, oops, sorry, Team Stick & Roddick (not much left of Stick though) please step forward and admit guilt? Or, if you don't, maybe you can sell your car and move downtown. I sure hope this guy is out the next election, have not heard or seen one productive question, suggestion or action of him.

Up 37 Down 5

Groucho d' North on Jan 23, 2020 at 11:17 am

This story adds to my suspicion that "woke" progressive Liberals like Mr. Roddick may read about something that worked in San Fransico and immediately ponder on how to apply the same solution here in the North. Too often policy wonks at all government levels plagiarize policies and solutions from other areas and expect them to provide satisfactory results here where things are much different - think square pegs in round holes. Also consider where many of the wonks currently employed by Yukon governments - at all levels - have come from. Local issues will best be resolved by local solutions made with public involvement and arguments and disagreements aplenty. Yes it's messy, frustrating and time consuming but that is how governance works. Like Mr. Von Bismark's comment about sausage making.

Up 49 Down 2

Wilf Carter on Jan 23, 2020 at 9:54 am

Folks we are a wilderness that use auto's to get around. Let's face it we are not any other city. Our city cover a lot of ground that is hard to develop in a systemic manner. We need max parking spaces for people visiting or staying with others because that is our way of life. Stop trying to make Whitehorse into something it is not!!!

Up 54 Down 1

Salt on Jan 22, 2020 at 11:18 pm

Roddick’s arrogance on full display. Our public ‘servant’ knows what’s best for us. Intentionally creating problems to push their ideological solutions. At this point how can we not think the local housing crisis isn’t directly tied to intentional policy?

Up 47 Down 0

Curiousity on Jan 22, 2020 at 10:56 pm

Densification. They don't even talk about "livable cities" anymore. If you question their rhetoric, you're afraid of change.

Up 42 Down 3

Libby G. Spotte on Jan 22, 2020 at 10:12 pm

The harder we hang on the harder it is to do things differently... Can someone recount the ballots please!

This has nothing to do with climate change mitigation or whatever we are calling it now and it has everything to do with tax revenue generation for a government gone wild spending spree... Buying young votes with virtue signals, appeals to base emotionalism, and your tax dollars.

Liberal Spend-Cash Predators. Treating you like you are stupid and convincing you that you are should you object... Chicken Little Politics - The sky is falling, the sky is falling...

The numbers are in and Canada’s, let alone the Yukon’s, climate change or people deconstruction initiatives, will have “0” impact on global climate change. Zero, zeerrroooo, you heard me, z-z-z-zeeerrrrrooooooo... Nil, nada, zilch... A big effen goose egg!

But you know what will happen?!?! Greater control over people with greater tax revenues. Anyone here watch - Idiocracy? No, because it sure looks like the sequel will be a reality TV show - Yukon politics and the liberal ideologues... Voters oblivion...

Up 53 Down 2

Pjt1959 on Jan 22, 2020 at 9:44 pm

There was no thought to what Yukoners do for recreation. City calls it the wilderness city, ppl own campers etc. to enjoy the outdoors of the Yukon. Problem is designers from Vancouver & Toronto haven’t a clue about Yukon only their big city design. Roddick might tell me what is affordable at lots over $100,000 a piece before shovel hits the dirt not to mention the taxes. Time Roddick & a couple of other councillors talk a big talk without a thought of reality just their own agenda. If you want a city like Vancouver or Toronto move there. Believe it was a better place 20 years ago without all this big city stuff and common sense meant something.

Up 35 Down 1

Lockeyone on Jan 22, 2020 at 7:49 pm

Never mind the densification in a new area like Whistlebend, but the absolute abuse of downtown parking on side streets by a commercial business (car dealer) where they take up side streets surrounding their business and make it impossible for residents to park. It's a joke, the city bylaw dept continues to hand out fines, but it's cheaper for them to pay the fines than relocate to a more suitable location.
The City needs to get serious if they want individuals to invest in the downtown so called “plan”. It won’t happen until you address this issue and the social housing nightmare they are encouraging.

Up 35 Down 5

Matthew on Jan 22, 2020 at 7:17 pm

Listen here, it's simply unaffordable and foolish to expect someone to pay $1700 for a basement suite in Riverdale etc. Pick any city down south and $1700 gets you a full house plus all the city amenities if you like. Look at the apartments for sale downtown, 700k.. I mean wake the eff up, for cheap materials like laminate and particle board. What's the incentive for Canadians to migrate here? It's expensive and getting worse!

Up 39 Down 3

Miles Epanhauser on Jan 22, 2020 at 4:59 pm

Densification is not welcome if you cannot find a parking spot near your home or if your neighbourhood becomes noisier.
And I am hesitant to say it but it's unpleasant to see densification and then have to experience the entitled crowd with all the big trucks and toys and the relentless destruction of our green spaces.

The city has many options to increase their tax base without ruining what many people are used to enjoying.
The city almost allowed motorized vehicles on the Millennium Trail so I think we need to review virtually everything that is pushed by city administration.

Futuristic models are often out of balance and a slow approach that does not ruin what we have is best. I am happy that councilor Boyd gets it and agrees with others who think councillor Roddick is thinking about things that sound good but they are too ideal and somewhat simplistic

The city has many options that will allow lower income people an opportunity get into housing but they have not opened that tool box and I do not understand why that is the case.

Up 79 Down 1

YT on Jan 22, 2020 at 4:12 pm

"There are cities he knows of which have removed parking requirements altogether, cities which have effective management of on-street parking, he said."
Whitehorse has, essentially, no management of its parking bylaws, effective or otherwise. It's a bylaw you must have a permit to park on the street, when has that ever been enforced?
Vehicles without licence plates, covered in snow, have obviously been there over 72 hours..... It's a joke.
But sure Steve, whatever.

Up 80 Down 5

Joe on Jan 22, 2020 at 4:07 pm

Hey Roddick, densification is not change, it is municipalities cheap way out of dealing with population and it has been going on for years. Overcrowding, traffic problems, smaller homes, no backyards..... not the progressive change you spew but fail to demonstrate. You want change, find new ways of dealing with problems, like maybe encouraging getting off grid, off city services... hmmm

Up 92 Down 3

Anie on Jan 22, 2020 at 3:06 pm

OMG what planet did Roddick come from? Pity the poor people who die of old age waiting for his visitor-parking-permits-better-transit solutions to kick in while they drive round and round trying to find a parking spot within walking distance of their hone so they can unload groceries. No more street hockey kids, it won't be safe. But hey, being densified is just such a green thing, isn't it.

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