Another 'wet' housing complex sails through Kelowna city council - InfoNews

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Another 'wet' housing complex sails through Kelowna city council

An earlier drawing of a supportive housing project for McIntosh Road in Rutland.
Image Credit: Submitted by B.C. Housing
August 12, 2019 - 3:04 PM

KELOWNA - Despite huge public opposition to a McCurdy Road supportive housing complex earlier this summer, a similar project for McIntosh Road quietly won support from Kelowna city council today, Aug. 12.

Both projects are in Rutland and only 1.3 kms apart. Both, initially, were to house the homeless where they would be allowed to consume alcohol and illegal drugs on site and have supervised injection sites.

Residents ran a massive petition campaign against McCurdy, collecting more than 13,000 signatures from eligible Kelowna residents. That prompted council to negotiate a different operating model with B.C. Housing, which funds both projects. The McCurdy site will not allow illegal drugs to be used on its property.

Not so for McIntosh, despite strong community opposition at a January open house.

None of that opposition was visible at today’s council meeting where a development permit, approving the form and character of the building, was easily approved by council.

Coun. Brad Sieben did ask a B.C. Housing representative if there were comments made at the open house about the form and character of the building and was told there was so the colours were changed as a result.

Coun. Charlie Hodge asked about staffing levels at the building and was told by John Howard Society CEO Dawn Himer (who will manage the facility) that there would be a minimum of two staff working at all times.

And Coun. Gail Given praised the project for providing more green space than any other multi-family project she’s seen come to council over the years.

Still, despite the lack of discussion, three councillors (Charlie Hodge, Mohini Singh and Maxine DeHart) voted against the development permit. At the similar vote for McCurdy, only Hodge voted no.

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