Public hearing issued for seniors housing development

FORT ST. JOHN, B.C – The wheels are in motion as Fort St. John is closer to having new seniors housing. The fi…

FORT ST. JOHN, B.C – The wheels are in motion as Fort St. John is closer to having new seniors housing.

The first two readings of the zoning amendment bylaw took place during Monday’s council meeting and will now be brought to a public hearing on May 25th.

With the amendments, Peace Enterprises and Vancouver-based non-profit VRS Communities’ address the use definition for the land, the maximum height allowed, the maximum parcel width, parking calculations, and parcel setbacks.

The two organizations have created a partnership to bring a four-storey, 116 unit building dubbed Harlequin at Prairie Rose Park to sit adjacent to the hospital.

A development plan for the seniors housing was submitted to the city in February after a packed public hearing in 2019 and two years of consulting with local seniors.

In a study conducted by Northern B.C. Housing, Fort St. John’s population is expected to grow by 46 per cent by 2036, with the senior population, 65 plus, expected to grow by 172 per cent.

Peace Holdings Inc. Director of Development Ron Brar hopes the project breaks ground this summer, expecting the city to speed up the decision-making process due to the seniors’ housing needs.

The development will feature a mix of unit types such as studio, one and two-bedroom units. The housing will be made up of mixed-use, seniors housing, affordable housing, assisted living, and adult living. In addition, commercial facilities will be built for health services to serve the needs of the residents.

The development will also have a multipurpose clubhouse with a games room, a kitchen, a lounge, and a dining area. VRS is also proposing 118 parking stalls for the building.

A Public Hearing will be scheduled for May 25, 2021, at 6:00 pm in City Hall Council Chambers

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