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

Public hearing planned for contentious Kelowna supportive housing project

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

It didn’t take long for Kelowna city council to forward a controversial proposal to build a 52-bed supportive housing development to a public hearing Monday afternoon.

But, given the public opposition to the project in the neighbourhood, the public hearing is likely to take much longer.

Council voted unanimously Monday to give the proposed rezoning bylaw for land at 2025 Agassiz Road first and second reading, meaning it will now go to what promises to be a contentious public hearing, likely to be held in January.

RELATED: Controversial Kelowna supportive housing project going to council Monday

Residents of the area, many of whom are seniors and live in nearby condominium buildings are opposed to the project because it will allow residents to use drugs and alcohol on site.

They say they are concerned about safety, a drop in property values and the overall impact on their neighbourhood.

The development, to be built by B.C. Housing, is considered a harm-reduction facility and would have a health care workers on staff to oversee drug consumption by residents.

After council’s decision at its weekly public meeting, residents Dave Bradshaw and Keith Garries said they, along with many residents in the neighbourhood, believe the building is in the wrong location.

They say it should be located elsewhere in the city, not in their residential neighbourhood just south of Orchard Plaza in the city’s Midtown area. Despite that, Bradshaw denied local opposition is a case of NIMBY (Not In My Back Yard).

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

He said the building—part of the province’s bid to create homes for the homeless, some of whom are drug addicts, would be acceptable if it were only for homeless seniors or women fleeing abusive relationships.

But he also said residents are not concerned about tenants of the building, but rather about the type of people he feels would come into the neighbourhood from outside to use drugs with those living in the building.

As a result of B.C. Housing’s plan, area residents have formed the Ambrosi Neighbourhood Association and its members plans to protest outside city hall Dec. 10.

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.

Bradshaw and Garries said they expected council to “rubber stamp” the proposal Monday and vowed to be back with more residents at the public hearing.

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

World Community Film Festival returns to Kelowna

The festival celebrates its 16th anniversary

Line-up for Kelowna Fan Experience 2019 to be announced

The line-up will be announced Feb. 22

2019’s “status quo” budget accepted cautiously by Kelowna Chamber

“(This budget) is to appeal to an NDP base.”

Teresa May talent agency opens in Kelowna

The agency will be holding an all ages open casting event Feb. 24

Niedermayer jersey retirement ceremony a dream come true

Penticton minor hockey players bring home memories of a lifetime from Niedermayer jersey retirement

Students give two thumbs up to no more B.C. student loan interest

Eliminating the loan interest charges could save the average graduate $2,300 over 10 years

Ontario man accused of killing 11-year-old daughter dies in hospital, police say

Roopesh Rajkumar had been hospitalized with what police described as a self-inflicted gunshot wound

Larch Hills junior skiers top Teck BC Midget Championships

Multiple top-five finishes contribute to aggregate team trophy

Manitoba ‘pauses’ link with ex-B.C. premier Gordon Campbell after allegations

Campbell had been hired to review two major hydro projects

Heritage minute features Japanese-Canadian baseball team, internment

The Vancouver Asahi baseball team won various championships across the Pacific Northwest

UPDATE: Woman, off-duty cop in critical condition after stabbing outside B.C. elementary school

The officer was interceding in an alleged assault when he and the woman were stabbed

Vehicle fire on Coquihalla near Kamloops

A large plume of smoke could be seen rising into the sky over Highway 5

Pool plans disappoint Shuswap swim clubs

Salmon Arm mayor assures options for city rec centre only preliminary

$10-a-day child care not in 2019 budget, but advocate not irked

Sharon Gregson with the Coalition of Child Care Advocates of B.C. says NDP on track to deliver promise

Most Read