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Whistle Bend sports complex back before Whitehorse council

A proposed sports complex in Whistle Bend is back before Whitehorse's new city council. The previous council voted down a required zoning change, in April.

Councillor Samson Hartland re-introduces zoning amendment

The Yukon government hopes to build the sports complex, but first Whitehorse city council must pass a zoning amendment. (Mike Rudyk/CBC)

It looked like it was game over for a proposed sports complex in Whitehorse's Whistle Bend neighbourhood, but as of Monday evening, play has resumed.

New city councillor Samson Hartland revived a rezoning application that the previous council rejected in April. The rezoning would allow the Yukon government to move ahead with plans to build two outdoor soccer pitches and an eight-lane running track.

Hartland made a campaign promise to re-introduce the plan to the new council.

"I'm of the mind that if we look at this through the eyes of a rezoning application, and strictly a rezoning application, I'm of positive mind and positive thought on this one," Hartland said.
Yukon Outdoor Sport Complex Association unveiled a new design for its proposed Whistle Bend facility last month, before the municipal election. It would include two regulation-sized soccer pitches with artificial turf and an eight-lane rubberized running track. (CBC)

'What is the necessity?'

Mayor Dan Curtis is still skeptical.

"What we look at is necessity. What is the necessity of this?" Curtis asked. He says Whitehorse has plenty of sports facilities and not all of them are well-used. 

"We are really the envy of the entire Yukon," Curtis said. "Quite frankly, it makes us a feel a little guilty when we see areas throughout the Yukon that have inadequate recreational facilities, and we're contemplating putting a six or an eight million dollar facility for three months of the year."

Curtis also says there are still no guarantees that the territory would pay for the facility's operations if rental fees fall short.
Whitehorse city councillor Samson Hartland (left) campaigned on a promise to revive the zoning application. Mayor Dan Curtis still questions the necessity of the facility. (Mike Rudyk/CBC)

"When there's just a wink wink, nudge nudge, 'we'll take care of it' — that's not good enough," Curtis said.

Two re-elected councillors have indicated that they're open to reconsidering the application.

Jocelyn Curteanu voted in favour of it last spring, and has said council should focus only on the zoning issue. Councillor Betty Irwin voted against the application last spring, but has said she could change her mind with more information.

The zoning application goes to second reading on Nov. 30. 

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