Thursday, June 14, 2012

Hospital Area Low Barrier Housing Issues

Dufferin Project Still Not Final
Could House More Than 35 Units

In a recent Daily article reporter Tamara Cunningham sheds some light on the contentious low barrier housing project planned for the corner of Dufferin and Boundary across from the hospital.

Apparently there are some issues between NAH and the city of Nanaimo as it relates to the use of this valuable piece of real estate. You may recall that this piece of land originally was given to the city by the Chinese community, with the understanding it would be a part of the Chinese Cemetery. The city was successful in convincing provincial authorities to sever this lot from the cemetery, which in itself is rather unusual. The lot originally was to be the site of two, 35 unit buildings designed to house people who are homeless for a wide range of reasons.

In the face of serious opposition by neighbouring residents the city of Nanaimo reduced the number of buildings on this site from two to one which resulted in the need to put another unit on the equally as contentious Uplands Drive site.

During the debate surrounding the Dufferin site, the matter of density was always a main concern. The fact that one of these buildings was removed from the site and potential number of total units was reduced from 70 to 35 was all part of the compromise city council made with the concerned residents of the area.

Will The Density Now Change?

There were two statements in Tamara's article that drew my attention, and they both relate to the matter of density on this lot. The first states that the Haven Society and Columbian Centre Society would operate more than 35 low barrier housing units on Dufferin Cresent. Further along in the article Mr. Spinelli of NAH is quoted as saying the building could also be expanded to include more than the proposed 35 to 40 units.

Can You Trust What You 'Think" Council Says?

The bottom line to this whole issue, is that in spite of assurances from council that the density on this site would be limited to 35 units it appears that simply may not be the case.


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