Quesnel City Council has decided that the public has sufficient information to go directly to a public hearing on the proposed Elliott Street Supportive Housing project.
The shelter component of the project has now been taken out along with support services for individuals other than tenants.
Most, like Councillor Scott Elliott, felt there was no need for BC Housing to hold another public information session…
“We’re looking at trying to get the shovels in the ground as possible or get the pans working as soon as possible and i think that’s the key here. To have another public session there could be some more education involved but basically it would be to let people know that what you wanted, the shelter removed from the housing, has happened.”
Mayor Bob Simpson noted that if BC Housing has to hold another public information they would prefer to wait for an operator to be named, something that he says would take another 3 or 4 months.
He also says all of the information is now available to the public on-line…
“The entire RFP and the entire draft operating agreement is available to the public and it has an operating description as to what will happen in that building that is actually clearer than when we had the previous public information sessions.”
Simpson noted that the housing agreement will ensure enforceability of these conditions for the city.
Not everyone was on board with skipping another public information session however.
Councillors Shushil Thapar and Ron Paull were opposed.
Paull wanted to know how the proposal would change if BC Housing knew who the operator was…
“Why can’t BC Housing have an open house where they put up pictures of the development and basically explain, because there was a lot of concern and consternation, and i’ve talked to some people over in the neighbourhood and they say, what’s happening ? They don’t have a clue what’s happening. So i’d hate to sort of say we’re having a public hearing and in the environment of a public hearing we are very restricted as to what we can say and do.”
The Public Hearing on the zoning change and the change to the Official Community Plan is set for May 30th in Council chambers at 6-30 p.m.
The project is for a new three-storey building with 32 units on Elliott Street in West Quesnel.