Women’s shelter plans altered

Plans for a women’s transition shelter have been revised for the third time in two years.

Plans for a women’s transition shelter have been revised for the third time in two years.

City council approved Tuesday night an amendment to a major development permit to authorize the construction of a 27-unit transition house for women that would include ground floor counselling offices and support services.

The new proposal sees a small reduction in the amount of units compared with the original blueprints, however, council was pleased to lend its support.

“I think this has been a long time coming so I’m delighted to make the motion (to approve the permit amendment),” Coun. Andy Adams said.

Council also directed city staff to transfer two Dogwood Street lots and a closed laneway in between the two properties to the Campbell River and North Island Transition Society.

Prior to acquiring a building permit, the three properties involved had to be consolidated into one development site, the problem was the three lands were not under single ownership until Tuesday when council transferred its property.

The shelter, expected to include 15 bachelor units, six one-bedroom units, three two-bedroom units and three three-bedroom units, is slated for construction on three Dogwood lots located near 11th Avenue – two are owned by the city while the third is an existing chiropractic office that will be torn down.

The shelter will aid in getting at-risk women and single-parent women and their children off the street.

The proposed shelter is a four-storey building, 1,937 square metres in floor area with a main floor containing offices, amenities and common spaces for tenants, as well as the upstairs units.

Since the proposal came forward to council last year, BC Housing has required several revisions to the project. Initially the transition shelter was to have 30 units but following approval of a development permit in February 2010, BC Housing expressed concerns with the lot configuration, including using two Dogwood lots and a Fir street property for a parking lot.

BC Housing was concerned the lot would be too steep for a parking area, and requested revisions to the plan.

The transition society altered its plans and purchased a third, adjacent property on Dogwood Street, and was then issued an amended development permit in February 2011 for a 33-unit building.

“Since this date, a detailed soil analysis of the new building footprint revealed a substantial depth to solid bearing ground resulting in increased foundation costs,” said Ian Buck, city planner, in a report. “BC Housing subsequently requested a revised site design to keep cost within budget.

The cost increase resulting from these site conditions was estimated to be $500,000.”

The city is expecting to pay $75,000 in development permit application and building permit fees as well as for development cost charges, site servicing and off site works and services as part of a Memorandum of Understanding with BC Housing.

Further costs to the city will be determined at the building permit stage.

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