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Resident raises issues with facility

Inspection report comments on rehabilitative nature of area

Some residents in the Traffe Road area continue to battle a women’s rehabilitation facility located in their neighbourhood.

Lillian McKinnon, who lives on Traffe, made a presentation at a recent Powell River Regional District planning committee meeting, about the Seaside Wellness Centre for Women, which received a licence from Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH) in 2011. The facility is licensed to treat up to a maximum of nine clients.

Some residents in the area have been opposing the centre, because it is inconsistent with the suburban residential designation of the property in the southern region OCP (official community plan). They have raised concerns about the facility because of the impact on property values, residents’ privacy, the aquifer and the potential for an increase in noise and traffic.

During the planning committee meeting, McKinnon read from a community care facility inspection report she had obtained from VCH. One part of that report noted an outside deck did not have a slip-resistant surface. The inspector wrote, “Please place rubber mats at the sliding door entrance to the deck and in front of the deck chairs, to allow clients to safely reap the therapeutic benefits of the stunning view, the healing properties of the sound of the waves crashing to shore and the spiritual quiet of nature’s surrounds, while wrapped in a warm blanket and sipping a cup of hot tea—ahhhhh!”

McKinnon seemed particularly upset with that comment. “How disgusting can you get when they have ruined our beach,” she said.

Director Patrick Brabazon, who represents Electoral Area A, said he found it incredible that that would end up in a government report.

Brabazon also said the inspection report “looks pretty loosey-goosey to me. You can get away with some of the fire restrictions as long as you’ve got somebody who is awake all night. I find that a little remarkable.”

McKinnon asked the regional district to ensure the treatment centre was in compliance with provincial licensing regulations, that the ministry of transportation and infrastructure was aware of problems with the road, that proper monitoring was in place in regard to sewage treatment and disposal and that a fair dialogue would take place between neighbours and the owner of the facility.

Mac Fraser, the regional district’s chief administrative officer, pointed out the best directors could do was advance the issues McKinnon raised with the proper agencies. “All of the items raised are ones where we don’t have the direct authority to act, but we can call upon others to do what they are supposed to do,” he said.

Directors passed a motion to send a letter to the appropriate agencies asking them to respond to the issues McKinnon outlined in her letter.