Quesnel City Council now has a lot of emotionally charged comments to consider when deciding whether or not to rezone properties on Elliott Street to pave the way for a supportive housing complex.
A public hearing was held last night in a packed Council Chambers.
The general consensus, at least among those living in the vicinity of this area, is that while they agree that it’s needed, they don’t want it there.
Tara Fookes says it’s been a topic of discussion with her friends over the past couple of weeks…
“What do you think about the Seasons House going on Elliott Street ? They’re like I’m so for it and I say i’m so against it. Well Why ? I say let’s put it in your neighbourhood, lets see how you like that. Lets put it in Johnston Sub, let’s get rid of Johnston Park and put it right there. What i’ve heard from people is west is best for the garbage.”
Others, like Candita Ray, were concerned about it being close to a school…
“My child does go to Riverview School. My child started kindergarten at Riverview School at the age of four. I think this type of housing is unacceptable in this location. It needs to be going somewhere else.”
There were also concerns about drugs and drug paraphernalia.
Tammy Jensen, an employee at Seasons House, pointed out however that it was going to be a supportive housing facility and not a treatment facility.
There were also some concerns about dropping property values and an increase in crime.
Kevin Therrien, also a front line worker at Seasons House, says neither are true…
“There are studies that show time and time again that says when a supportive housing facility moves into an area property values, in general, do not decrease. In actual fact, because of the value of the buildings, they usually increase. Same study, same research, no additional crime. What happens is these new facilities come in, they have increased surveillance, greater awareness in the community and the crime in those general areas usually disperses somewhere else.”
Therrien says now you’re looking at a 6 million dollar area improvement project.
In addition to 2 1/2 hours of verbal presentations, Council also received 38 written submissions on the proposed rezoning as well as three petitions against it.
Second and third reading are on the Council agenda for tonight.