The City of Whitehorse needs more residential lots.

That's according to Mike Ellis, the city's acting manager of planning and sustainability, who said the city should always have a two-year supply of residential lots on the market at any given time.

Whitehorse currently has none — and planners are looking to change that. 

Ellis told city council Monday night there are 13 "locations" that could possibly be turned into lots and brought to market.

They are found in the existing neighbourhoods of Logan, Arkell, Granger, Hidden Valley, Mary Lake, Cowley Creek, Porter Creek and Whitehorse Copper. Each location could be divided into between one and five lots, depending on zoning bylaws and its size. 

Infill lots

There are three 'potential development areas' in Mary Lake and one in Cowley Creek. (City of Whitehorse)

Ellis said that at the city's projected growth rate, new lots will be needed in addition to the 3,500 planned for Whistle Bend over the next several years. The next release of Whistle Bend properties is slated for this fall. 

A supply of new lots throughout the city are important, Ellis said, in order to ensure an adequate supply of housing and to help ease escalating housing costs.

Some opposition expected

Ellis acknowledged development of the properties may be controversial for some. 

"We've undertaken many of these initiatives over the years and ... its difficult. It's definitely difficult on local residents to come to grips, or to be presented with the the fact that, perhaps some trees in their neighbourhood need to be torn out to make way for more housing."

It's been a few years since the city has tried to develop infill lots in existing residential neighbourhoods. Recent land development processes have gone through in Riverdale, Crestview and Porter Creek. 

"Nothing gets people excited like putting lots in," said councillor Rob Fendrick after Ellis' presentation.  

​If council votes next week to start the land development process, city staff will begin public consultations. In addition to broad advertising about the process, Ellis says residents who live near the identified locations would be notified by mail.  

Corrections

  • An earlier version of this story said the city identified 13 residential lots that could go to market. In fact, there are 13 "locations" that could be divided into more residential lots.
    May 17, 2017 11:09 AM CT