Whitehorse wants mining claim confusion cleared up

The city of Whitehorse says territorial legislation is creating confusion over how to reconcile mining claims and residential development.

The city of Whitehorse is calling on the Yukon government to clear up an ongoing land use conflict over mining claims.

The latest is a Yukon Supreme Court lawsuit filed last week over the Raven's Ridge Estates housing development.

A Whitehorse excavating company says the city expropriated its claims to make way for the development.

Streets have been built and home construction has commenced on phase two of the posh Ravens Ridge neighbourhood. Lots are priced as high as $300,000.

But they're on land covering historical mining claims registered to Coyne and Sons. Land Coyne has said the city designated green space, then rezoned for residential development.

The company owns hundreds of mineral claims across the Mt. McIntyre area of Whitehorse and says the Ravens Ridge homes have rendered them useless.

Brian Crist, the director of operations for the city, said while the city hasn't been named in the lawsuit, there has been an ongoing dispute with mineral claim holders. 

"This was no surprise, named or not named, the city has some responsibility to enable development within Whitehorse and there needs to be some clarification on how these acts work together or not,"  he said. 

Crist said two pieces of Yukon government legislation, the Municipal Act and the Quartz Mining Act, seem to be in conflict.

The lawsuit demands compensation from the Raven's Ridge developers for encroaching on Coyne's mineral claims.

Crist said city lawyers will eventually intervene in the lawsuit. There's no word on when the dispute will be heard.

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