—Image: contributed An artist drawing of the proposed social housing development slated for 2025 Agassiz Road in Kelowna.

Protest at Kelowna City Hall against contentious public housing project

Residents form neighbourhood association fight plan to build homes for homeless in their area

Residents of the Agassiz Road area in Kelowna took to the street outside Kelowna City Hall Monday to protest a proposed controversial supportive housing project aimed at housing the homeless.

About 100 people showed up prior to council’s weekly afternoon public meeting to once again voice their opposition to plans for the 52-unit facility to be built by BC Housing.

The residents are concerned about neighbourhood safety and a possible decline in surrounding property values if the project goes ahead. They say because the the facility would allow residents to use drugs on site it could increase crime and drug dealing into their neighbourhood.

BC Housing says safety procedures will be put in place, including secured and monitored access to the building, only open to residents and their guests, as well as a health care staff on site 24 hours per day. They described the facility as a “harm reduction” housing project.

It says in other places where similar facilities have been built, local crime rates have not gone up.

But area resident Don Davies, a member of the new Ambrosi Neighbourhood Association, said Monday he and many of his neighbours don’t believe that.

And he accused BC Housing officials of lying to the the residents.

His said he is also concerned BC Housing paid too much for the property and wasted taxpayer dollars.

He said residents are not opposed to the facility being built, but they don’t want it in their neighbourhood.

A similar development called Hearthstone is now open on Commerce Avenue between Enterprise Way and Highway 98, a commercial-industrial area farther north in the city. He said he felt that was an appropriate area for such a facility.

RELATED: Controversial Kelowna supportive housing project going to council Monday

The proposed development is slated for 2025 Agassiz Road, just south of the Orchard Plaza shopping centre. A public hearing to rezone the property to allow development of the housing facility is slated to go Jan. 17 at city hall.

The area residents, many of whom are seniors and live in nearby condominium buildings, have protested the plan several times in the past since it was announced last summer.

RELATED: Protests outside open house to for supportive housing proposal in Kelowna

As a result of B.C. Housing’s plan, area residents formed the Ambrosi Neighbourhood Association.

Residents have already held one protest, outside an open house a few weeks ago at a Kelowna hotel where B.C. Housing attempted to explain the project to the public.

The public hearing will give city council an opportunity to hear directly from the applicant, supporters and opponents of the project before deciding if it will give final approval to the rezoning bylaw.

To report a typo, email:
newstips@kelownacapnews.com
.


@KelownaCapNews
newstips@kelownacapnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Lake Country joins celebration of local government professionals

The district joined communities across the province by planting a new tree

Kootnekoff: Nervous about random drug testing?

Are you an employer with workers performing safety sensitive activities, but without… Continue reading

PPC leader wants to appeal to voters’ intelligence

Maxine Bernier says his right-wing populist political movement differs from that of U.S. President Donald Trump and other similar European leaders

Lake Country still investigating cause for water main break

Over 2,500 residences and businesses in Lake Country and Kelowna remain under boil water notice

Housing provided for women and children fleeing violence in Penticton

Announcement on Friday is part of a provincewide initiative to construct additional housing.

New airline regulations bring compensation for tarmac delays, over-bookings

Some of the new regulations will roll out in July, while others are expected for December.

Sit-in on Saturday will protest move to curb loitering in Penticton’s downtown

Nanaimo Square Sit-In is taking place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Crews respond to smoke at Penticton thrift store

The rooftop A/C unit began filling the building with smoke, prompting them to evacuate

People’s Party of Canada leader talks B.C. trade to Penticton supporters

Maxime Bernier, head of the new federal political party, spoke at Time Winery on Friday

Princeton RCMP recover stolen homework and save the grade

It’s a slightly better excuse than “the dog ate my homework.” Earlier… Continue reading

New Summerland distillery has received recognition

Alchemist Distiller won audience choice award at recent competition

Scheer says it would take Conservatives five years to balance budget

Scheeraccused the Liberal government of spending $79.5 billion of previously unbudgeted funds

Vancouver woman sexually assaulted after man follows her home; suspect at large

Police are looking for an Asian man in his 40s after the incident on Vancouver’s east side.

B.C. man, 30, arrested for driving his parents’ cars while impaired twice in one day

The Vancouver-area man was arrested after officers caught him driving impaired twice in one day

Most Read