Yellowknife city councillors can't agree on what direction to go in revitalizing a strip along Old Airport Road.

developer wants the area to be rezoned allowing for residential buildings. But some city councillors don't support the idea.

"The city made a lot of commitments to say we want to revitalize the downtown core," councillor Bob Brooks says. "If you're trying to revitalize the downtown core, building up another area is not going to help us."

Many options

By shifting the focus of housing developments away from downtown, councillor Brooks fears it will kill life in the city's core. "We're a young city, we have the opportunity to fix the downtown problem, before it becomes a much bigger problem."

Others say that a mix of residential and commercial development is the best way to maximize the area's around Old Airport Road's true potential.

"It's a great area of town, you've got the shopping you've got the schools.," councillor Rebecca Alty says. "I think if people choose to develop the area I think there will be demands so people can work, live and play all in the same area."

Jeff Humble is the Director of Planning and Development. 

"We've been very active in trying to promote cycling and pedestrian traffic on Old Airport Road with improvements and street scaping," Humble says. "So the residential component does add another aspect to potentially promoting active transportation."

Public consultations on the zoning change will happen some time in November, with city council's ultimate decision on the issue coming some time in the new year.

If councillors decide to go ahead with the new development, construction on a residential building could be underway as early as next summer.