It’s a project that has drawn fierce opposition from many area residents — the proposed construction of a supportive housing wet facility for the homeless on a vacant plot of land on Agassiz Road behind Orchard Plaza.
The project is surrounded by apartment buildings, occupied in large part by seniors who fear for their safety.
In an effort to keep pressure on council, area residents have hired a lawyer to add credibility to their opposition.
“I think that he (lawyer) has more credibility. If they think we don’t know what we’re talking about, he knows what we’re talking about. He’s done the research. He thinks feels very confident we have a case,” says residents spokesperson Dave Bradshaw.
Among other things, the residents say there’s an unregistered restrictive covenant on the property, limiting any future development to two storeys in height. The residents say the City of Kelowna knew about the covenant and should have disclosed it with B.C. Housing.
“The city ought to have disclosed the existence of the covenant to B.C. Housing, and in not doing so omitted to disclose key information that ought to have been brought to B.C. Housing’s attention,” lawyer Michael Hansen said in a prepared statement.
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Residents say the facility should go in a commercial area, isolated from residential neighbourhoods like the new supportive housing facility on Commerce Road.
Residents say that if the project is approved, they’ll take the city to court and try to block it with an injunction.
“If we can’t get them to change what they’re thinking of putting here, we will do that,” Bradshaw said.
The Agassiz Road project goes before council for a public hearing on January 7th.
Mayor Colin Basran is recommending his fellow councillors vote for what is best for the community as a whole.
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