Dear editor,

I am writing to clarify some misinformation that was shared with Yellowknifers regarding the Draft Zoning By-law and to encourage residents to learn more about this important project, and next steps. The Zoning By-law implements the City’s vision, principles and priorities for the community moving forward, affecting us all, and it is important that the information being shared is accurate.

In summary, the Zoning By-law review process started three years ago with the Community Plan and continues until the Statutory Public Hearing on November 27. Residents will always have the right of appeal and the City continues to welcome feedback.

When the Community Plan was approved in 2020, after an extensive consultation process with Yellowknifers that began in 2018, it created a clear direction for development in Yellowknife and a need to update the Zoning By-law. Administration worked with local consultants and engaged Yellowknifers – first in 2020 on zoning principles and since August 2021 on the proposed draft – as we work towards the completion of this comprehensive replacement of the City’s Zoning By-law.

The new Zoning By-law proposes broad principles of sustainability, recognizing that the long-term path of our community must reflect our economic, social, cultural and environmental needs and aspirations. It starts from the principle that a community can only be truly sustainable if it is a good place to live for all residents, regardless of their social or economic status or stage of life. Zoning is focused on the land use and does not reference the diversity of users. This new format is consistent with good planning practices and the protection of human rights.

Feedback continues to be welcome and City planners have scheduled time with residents to discuss comments as requested. Due to the ongoing COVID-19 restrictions, meetings now take place virtually, either online or via telephone. Comments received by October 1, 2021, will be incorporated into a presentation by Administration to Mayor and Council during the Governance and Priorities Committee meeting on October 25, 2021. Comments received after October 1, 2021, will still be accepted and can be formally submitted by residents for inclusion in the Statutory Public Hearing, which will take place on November 27, 2021. Due process, including a legislatively required appeals process, remains a foundational part of the new Zoning By-law Draft.

To learn about this project, residents can access the New Zoning By-law Draft; zoning map; parking map; fact sheets; and videos of the open house presentations at www.yellowknife.ca/ZoningReview. If residents prefer a large format printed copy, the City can provide this for a fee as per the Fees and Charges Bylaw, or one of Yellowknife’s small printing businesses can also provide this service.

To share feedback, comments and concerns, email zoningreview@yellowknife.ca or call 867 920 5600. We look forward to hearing from you and will continue to provide updates on the project.

Sheila Bassi-Kellett

Yellowknife’s city manager

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