Public gets to voice concern

Frustrated neighbours will get a chance to voice concerns about a proposed support housing project that could house more than 50 homeless people during a public hearing in the new year.

BC Housing has proposed a 52-unit supportive housing complex on Agassiz Road in Kelowna, which is largely populated by seniors.

More than 500 residents live between Springfield Road and Harvey Avenue, where the “low barrier” supportive housing is proposed.

Last week, Kelowna council agreed to send a proposed supportive housing project to a special public hearing. That hearing has now been set for 6 p.m. Jan. 17.

Community planning department manager Ryan Smith said council chose to have a stand-alone public hearing night so residents can express their concerns.

The meeting will be held in council chambers.

Smith said council could request BC Housing make changes or deny the rezoning.

“This is just whether or not a multi-family building can go on that site,” said Smith. “The rezoning is consistent with Kelowna’s official plan.”

Smith said no matter what neighbourhood such project go in, there is always controversy.

Residents in the area have been vocal in their opposition.

"It is a nice, close-knit, friendly community,” said Dave Bradshaw. “The main concern is that we want to stay here and we want to feel safe and secure.”

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