Saturday, October 22, 2011

Low Barrier/Supportive/Wet/Housing Deja Vu

The Same Project - The Same Concerns
No Answers From City Hall

Last April I sat through four nights of open council meetings where hundreds of residents of the Quarterway and hospital area made presentation after presentation to city council expressing their concerns about the proposed low barrier housing projects in their areas.

Last night at Oliver Woods Community Center, resident after resident expressed the same concerns about the low barrier project on Uplands Drive. The room was filled to over capacity with standing room only. The opposition to the project on Uplands Drive is based on exactly the same information hospital area residents presented council with months ago.

One issue both groups have, deals with the lack of supporting studies to prove that high density wet housing is an effective way to deal with the issue of drug and alcohol addiction. In fact both groups have reports indicating that this type of approach simply does not work. The city has yet to offer any supporting studies to the contrary.

Mayoral candidate Jim Routledge who initiated a petition supporting the Uplands site said before he made up his mind he visited some other sites on Vancouver Island. The Fairwinds site in Victoria which apparently houses seniors was the example that convinced him to support the Uplands site. However, during his address to the group in referring to his opinion of the Warmlands site in Duncan he said "not so much".

I found it interesting that Mr. Routledge who does support the Uplands site was not impressed by the site in Duncan which both councilors Pattje and Johnstone said they were impressed with when they went on a fact finding tour earlier this year. Those in favour of the wet house concept seem to ignore the letter from the RCMP Insp in Duncan who said they had received 150 calls in a 12 month period to the Warmlands site and met with less than stellar cooperation.

Councilor Bestwick was highly critical of the 'behind closed doors' decisions this council has made with respect the Bowen Road site, saying that the council had been dishonest at best and deceitful at worst in their dealing with the rezoning of that property.

Seniors living in the 360 unit Seniors Village adjacent the proposed site are fearful their peace and security will be seriously impacted if the Uplands site proves to be the home for up to 40 active drug and or alcohol addicted people.

Noticeably absent from the proceedings were any sitting councilors who are in favour of the Uplands Road decision. Both Holdom and Unger who favour the site are not seeking re-election. However neither Pattje, Johnston, Greves, Ruttan or Kipp were present at the meeting to offer their views on the choice of Uplands Dr.

Bestwick offered a suggestion as to how to overcome voter apathy and how to get people involved in the process and he rightly observed 'you piss them off'. Which does seem to have worked in this case.


1 comment:

  1. Thank-you for your unbiased reporting of the meeting,it is a pleasure to read something not fudged.


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