Concerns over rehab centre

Osoyoos residents have shared concerns about a proposed zoning amendment that would allow rehab centres in residential areas — with concerns particularly about one rehab centre many say is planned on Bayview Crescent.

The amendment would allow supportive recovery facilities to operate in homes under certain criteria, including having a maximum of six patients and at least two staff.

On Monday at 4 p.m., the town will hold a "housekeeping" public hearing at council chambers about zoning for rehab centres and two other unrelated zoning amendments that are proposed.

Some residents have told Castanet the Branden Jansen Memorial Recovery Centre will be operating in a home at 5 Bayview Crescent, but that information hasn't been confirmed.

Sixteen letters were written to the town ahead of Monday's public hearing, specifically addressing a proposed rehab centre. Many letters were from residents on Bayview Crescent, and one was from the Casa Del Mila Oro Resort which is across the street from the home in question.

"I am writing this letter to protest the lack of information given... While I understand that the town is in need of a recovery house, there are some questions that I feel need to be answered," resident Ydella Dulcetta said.

"Osoyoos is not the town for this. This is a family vacation destination place. That's how the town survives, is from tourists. Don't drive them away by making it a non-safe town for families," Eva Rubinic said in a letter.

BJMRC president and CEO Michelle Jansen said in February she was working with staff in Osoyoos to open a six-person rehab centre in the town. She also opened a six-bed centre in Penticton last month.

Jansen said she won't be sharing the addresses publicly of the centres she is opening in the area, after her plans to open a Penticton rehab centre in December were thwarted when neighbours bought the home instead after hearing of her plans through the grapevine.

Jansen operates BJMRC in memory of her son, Brandon, who died from a fentanyl overdose at age 20 while staying in a rehab centre.

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