Inuvik Town Council scuttles RCMP housing development

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Council voted unanimously Wednesday evening to nix the proposed development of RCMP duplexes on Carmichael Drive.

Speaking to council on Monday evening, neighbors urged against the proposed eight RCMP duplexes and an additional single home. Most residents, while welcoming RCMP officers as neighbors, said the increased density would change the character of the quiet neighborhood, and reduce the value of their homes.

Former Mayor Jim McDonald was among the residents who spoke against the development in council on Monday.
Nick Pearce / NNSL Photo

The proposed builds on Carmichael Drive were part of a NWT Housing Corporation announcement last month that promised 45 new RCMP housing units across the territory. Without the go-ahead, the Corporation and police will have to find housing elsewhere in town.

“The residents have spoken fairly clearly regarding having duplexes,” Councillor Gary McBride said as the Councillors voted against the development.

Randy Cleveland, acting director of infrastructure services for the housing corporation, phoned into the meeting. He said he was understanding of resident concerns and would go ahead with considering other areas for development.

In his statement, Deputy Mayor Steven Baryluk suggested Centennial Street, Kumallit Road, and Inuit Road would be better suited.

“I just don’t think that the type of development suits the look and feel of the neighborhood they’re trying to put it in. I think it would change the neighborhood dynamic, the neighborhood feel,” Baryluk told council before voting the proposal down.

One of the residents, Mathew Miller, told Inuvik Drum it “feels good to keep the neighborhood.”

“I do feel that the RCMP deserve proper housing,” he said. “I hope that does happen, and I hope there is some kind of economic benefit to the community as a result of that.”

Former Mayor Jim McDonald said people in the neighborhood took pride in their homes, and that his opposition wasn’t against the police, but the type of development. It “didn’t fit,” he said. Nonetheless, McDonald said there was capacity for new development in town, and that it may be time to develop new residential areas.

“(The duplexes are) cookie cutter … all the same, dropped in their, it just doesn’t fit,” he said.

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