Community and local area planning




Long-term planning helps to define a community’s vision for the future and how it can move forward in that direction. Plans provide guidelines and policies to balance competing views for land use, and make sure that future development and growth occur in an orderly manner.

Planning provides property owners and local residents with the opportunity to influence the decisions about the use of land in their community while ensuring that broader public interests are taken into consideration, such as those identified through Yukon and First Nation government legislation and policies.

Yukon has eight municipalities that are required by the Municipal Act to develop official community plans. These documents guide land use and development within their boundaries. A local area plan is a similar document that is prepared for areas outside of municipalities. While there is no legislative requirement for developing these, the governments of Yukon and First Nations have been working on developing local area plans to ensure the orderly development of unincorporated communities in Yukon.


What is happening?


Official Community Plans
  • All eight Yukon municipalities have official community plans.


Table 1: Status of planning for municipalities in 2017
Official Community Plans Approved
Faro 2014
Carmacks 2013
Haines Junction 2013
Dawson 2016 (Amendment to original plan)
Teslin 2010
Watson Lake 2016 (Amendment to original plan)
Whitehorse 2016 (Amendment to original plan)
Mayo 2016 (Amendment to original plan)


Local Area Plans

Local area planning is done for unincorporated communities and typically includes private lands, Yukon public lands, and Settlement Lands. As official community plans, local area plans include policies and maps that designate (or "zone") areas for different uses, such as Residential, Recreational or Industrial.

With the exception of the Carcross/Tagish First Nation Self-Government Agreement, local area plans are not required by law. However, once a plan has been developed, plan provisions can be enforced through legislation and policies, such as the Subdivision Act and the Area Development Act.

The Subdivision Act requires any subdivision to conform to a local area plan. The Area Development Act stipulates the development of development area (zoning) regulations that are based on the policies of an applicable local area plan. Besides dividing areas into specific classes of land use such as Downtown Residential, Public Use or Light Industrial, zoning regulations also state how a parcel can be developed, such as the number of dwellings, their height, use and setback from property lines. Zoning regulations are enforced through development permits.

In the past, zoning regulations have been developed without first developing a local area plan. Today, governments strive to develop local area plans before developing zoning regulations in order to ensure that local residents’ and First Nations’ perspectives are integrated into the planning process and resulting plan.

  • In 2016, eight local area plans were in place.
  • Local area planning processes are currently underway for three areas: Marsh Lake, Fox Lake and Tagish (Table 2).
  • For up-to-date information about local area plans and to access completed plans, visit the Department of Energy, Mines and Resources website.


Fox Lake Local Area Plan, public meeting.


Table 2: Status of local area plans and development area (zoning) regulations for unincorporated communities in 2017
Development Area Local Area Plan
(date of approval)
Zoning Regulation
(date of approval or last comprehensive update)
Carcross 2014 1976
West Dawson/Sunnydale 2013 1990
Golden Horn 2004 2011
Watsíx Eetí Part of Golden Horn Local Area Plan 2011
Hotsprings Road 2002 2005
Deep Creek 2001 2011
Hamlet of Ibex Valley 2001 2010
Hamlet of Mount Lorne 1995 2006
Marsh Lake Underway None
M’Clintock Place Part of future Marsh Lake Local Area Plan 1996
Fox Lake Underway None
Tagish Underway None
Remote Recreational Lots (Lake Bennett and Tagish Lake) 2014
Dutch Harbour Remote Recreational Lots 2016
Mayo Road 2013
Little Teslin Lake Recreation 2010
Jackfish Bay 2000
Grizzly Valley 1996
Klondike Valley 1992
Mendenhall 1990
Pine Lake 1990
Bear Creek 1983
Destruction Bay 1980
Dempster Highway 1979
Ross River 1978
Whitehorse Periphery 1978


NOTE: Bolded areas indicate where area plans have been or are being developed between the governments of Yukon and First Nations.



Yukon Department of Energy, Mines and Resources. 1988-2016. Local area plans [modified 2015 Dec 29; cited 2016 Mar 3]. Available from: http://www.emr.gov.yk.ca/landplanning/