A fifth supportive housing project in the Rutland area was approved by City of Kelowna Council, Monday.
The 50-unit building is set to be built at 280 McIntosh Road, right on the corner of McIntosh and Asher roads, close to Rutland Centennial Park and the Rutland Community Policing Office.
As was the case of the recent project on McCurdy Road, councillors could only vote on the form and character of the property, not its use.
Though Coun. Mohini Singh, Coun. Charlie Hodge and Coun. Maxine Dehart opposed the project, it was passed with a majority ruling.
The land was initially rezoned for a four-storey, 52-unit apartment building in 2007, but the project was dropped in 2010 due to market conditions. The zoning of the project, however, remained in effect. This paved an easier than usual path for this BC Housing project to take as the new application for a four-storey, 50-unit building falls within the same zoning laws, negating a need for a public hearing on the matter.
A public information session was held by BC Housing in January at Rutland Centennial Hall. BC Housing said the response to the form and character of the building was largely positive but feedback was taken for the colour of the building to be changed.
The project will be funded by BC Housing and operated by the John Howard Society of Central and South Okanagan.
Residents will be allowed to use drugs on the site and support services, including overdose prevention services, will be provided.
Dawn Heimer of the John Howard Society was grilled with questions regarding staffing but assured council that the facility would be staffed 24/7, adjusted accordingly to peak times and a minimum of two staff members would be on-site at all times.
Rutland residents have shown disdain for similar projects in the region recently, gathering 13,000 signatures last month trying to stop the construction of the nearby McCurdy supportive housing project. BC Housing subsequently banned drug-use at that site.