Nelson youth housing project moves forward

The expansion of housing at the Nelson and District Youth Centre will continue to take steps forward now that council has approved the project in principle.

The Nelson and District Youth Centre could be home to new youth housing in an additional floor that will be built on top of the existing building.

The Nelson and District Youth Centre could be home to new youth housing in an additional floor that will be built on top of the existing building.

The expansion of housing at the Nelson and District Youth Centre will continue to take steps forward now that council has approved the project in principle.

The Nelson Community Service Centre approached council in July at a Committee of the Whole meeting to present the idea of adding an extra floor to the facility at 608 Lake Street.

The recommendation by city staff was that approval in principle be deferred until the Community Service Centre review the opportunities for development of their existing site at 605 Lake Street (Cicada Place).

Councillor Donna Macdonald said it’s important the project receive approval in principle so they can apply for development grants and other funding.

“They don’t want to miss an opportunity for funding if it becomes available,” said Macdonald.

Macdonald suggested an amended recommendation, which would allow for approval in principle.

In July when the presentation was made to council by the Community Service Centre, they emphasized that having approval in principle is important, especially as things move quickly with BC Housing.

Dave Wahn, city planner, said the reason city staff was suggesting the project be deferred is because of potential rezoning conflicts with the Downtown and Waterfront Sustainability Plan.

“Neighbouring properties may complain that they weren’t given the same opportunities,” said Wahn.

The Downtown and Waterfront Plan is in favour of moving towards more mixed-use facilities like the one suggested by the Community Service Centre for the Youth Centre.

Wahn suggested rezoning of the youth centre be deferred because the city is looking at similar rezoning through out the downtown area, which would fit with the Downtown and Waterfront Plan.

Councillor Kim Charlesworth wondered if stronger language was needed in the recommendation for the project to receive funding.

Council approved the amended recommendation.