An official community plan amendment and a zoning amendment have passed a third reading, bringing a Summerland church one step closer to developing an affordable housing project on its property.
The amendments were needed to allow the proposed development at Summerland Alliance Church on Victoria Road North.
The church’s affordable housing project is for up to 24 units on the church property. An existing house at the front of the property will be removed and replaced with a mix of buildings and a range of unit sizes.
“This can be a real asset to the community,” said Harry Harker, a planner and the official agent for the church.
John Bubb, president of the Summerland Food Bank and Resource Centre, said the project is needed as Summerland has a “desperate shortage” of affordable housing units.
He said more than 500 Summerland residents use the food bank, in part because of the costs of housing in the community.
Rick Gay, pastor of the church, said the project is a way of protecting people and the planet.
Kim Lawton, a member of the church’s property committee, said the project is needed in Summerland.
“We’re really looking at this as giving a hand up to the community,” she said.
Mike Freed, who lives adjacent to the church, asked what will happen to the alley access in place at present.
Kirk Roberge, another resident who lives beside the church property, raised concerns about traffic along Victoria Road North.
“We want to make sure we do this right,” he said of the housing project.
Members of council said the housing initiative is needed in Summerland.
“I want to applaud the Alliance Church for doing this,” said Coun. Erin Trainer.
Coun. Marty Van Alphen also commended the church for the initiative.
“It’s a great beginning for sustainable housing in Summerland,” he said.
The bylaws passed third reading with unanimous council support.
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