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Kelowna  

Supportive housing a go

Kelowna city council gave its approval Monday for another supportive housing project in Rutland.

It's the fifth such project either up and running or in the development stage in the Rutland area.

The latest is at McIntosh and Asher roads, a half block from Centennial Park, and down the street from the community policing station.

Council was only asked to approve a development permit for form and character of the four-storey, 50-unit apartment building, not its intended use.

Use was not part of the discussion, since the property had already been zoned for medium density apartment use in 2007 for a project that ultimately was abandoned in 2010 due to market conditions.

But, while no one on council took issue with the look or design of the building, the vote was far from unanimous. Councillors Charlie Hodge, Mohini Singh and Maxine Dehart all voted against.

Singh asked why the original apartment project was abandoned, while Hodge asked about attendance at a January open house, and quizzed John Howard Society executive director Dawn Himer about staffing for the apartment.

None of the three commented specifically about the look of the building. That was left to others.

"I am quite pleased to hear that the developers did respond to some of the area residents' concerns about colours, and made the adjustment," Coun. Gail Given said in response to concerns from the open house about the colour palette being used.

"I also want to say that of any of the multi-family projects that have come before us, it has to have the most green space I have seen on any since I have been on council."

The building will be run by the John Howard Society. And, while residents were able to change the model of the McCurdy Road project to an apartment where residents are not permitted to use drugs, the McIntosh Road project will allow drugs to be consumed on site.

Coun. Brad Sieben, as he did on previous applications, had a message to both BC Housing and the John Howard Society.

"I'll say once again that I think it's absolutely incumbent upon the operator, BC Housing and all the parties involved, that this integrates successfully, and does not have a negative effect on the community," said Sieben.

"Based on some of the due diligence I think that's been looked at, I'm hopeful that will be the case because I think there has been a lot of planning and attention to this to make sure it does go well."



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