Thursday, June 29, 2017

Council praises Metlakatla Development Corporation's Elders/Seniors Housing initiative as a template for other developers

It's all systems Go as far as Prince Rupert city Council is concerned, with
Council giving its approval for an Elders/Seniors residential complex
on the site of the Old King Edward School

Prince Rupert City Council had only strong words of support and praise for a proposed Elders/Seniors Village planned for the old King Edward School site on the city's east side, with Council passing a motion to move forward with the project that will add to the number of available units in the community for those over the age of 65.

With a Public Hearing receiving no commentary in opposition to the project and what few concerns that Council members may have had cleared up early in the council session, the only real issue coming from Councillor Randhawa who had wondered why the age limit for the Metlakatla proposal had been raised to 65, when a previous one, the Hill Top Lodge in the Yellowhead Centre area had an age limit of 55 and above.

Mr. Krekic noted that the proponent had outlined its plans to address the need of Seniors ages 65 and over and that Council should not be seeking a covenant to change that aspect of the project, noting that the option was in the hands of the proponent to decide how they wish to attract tenants.

As well as the notes on the age for those that might wish to live there, Council also had some comments related to a requested height variance, with the roofing plans of interest and some discussion but eventually receiving smooth passage on Monday

Along with the vote of confidence for the project, Council members also saluted the work of the proponents as something that other developers could take note of.

Councillors Niesh and Kinney both spoke in favour of the project, with Mr. Kinney noting that it was a much needed housing option for the community and could see a number of Seniors choose to stay in Prince Rupert rather than leave the community.

Councillor Thorkelson in particular had high praise for how the Metlakatla proposal was put together and the community had been consulted.

She observed that the one letter of opposition, which commented at to how "low cost housing usually deteriorates and doesn't match in with the neighbourhood" was not a sentiment that she believed was a valid concern related to the proposal

The Councillor further noted how it was the kind of development that the city should strive to attract to the community, comparing the efforts put in by the Metlakatla group to some of the other proposals which did not address many of the city's concerns over community engagement and amenities that they would like to see included in housing proposals.

She also offered up the observation that the Green Street project is one that other developers should look towards in the future as to how they should approach housing initiatives in the community.

"I think that this is going to be a real addition to the neighbourhood and I'm really pleased that Metlakatla has decided to take this spot and use it for the advantage of the whole community" -- Councillor Joy Thorkelson offering her support for the Metlakatla Elders/Seniors housing proposal

Likewise, Councillor Cunningham who called the concept a great project and one that would enhance the neighbourhood, reviewed some of the lengthy community engagement that the Metlkatla Development Corporation had taken on as part of the process and noted that they had listened very carefully to the range of commentary that they had received through their Open Houses and consultation events.

A larger overview of the discussion from Monday can be found on our Council Timeline.

The conversation can also be reviewed through the City's Video Archive feature, the Public Hearing segment starts at the very beginning of the evening, while the Council Discussion related to the Metlakatla Development proposal starts at the 54 minute point.

You can review some of the background to the proposed development here.

More notes on Housing issues in the Northwest can be examined here.

For more items related to Monday's City Council session see our archive page here, while more detailed review of Council Discussion topics can be found here.

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