The Port Alberni Shelter Society is hoping to redevelop the former Shelter on Eighth Avenue into an affordable housing facility for fixed and low-income seniors.
Port Alberni city council agreed during a council meeting on Monday, Aug. 12 to proceed with granting development variance permits to the Shelter Society so that they can redevelop the site.
City planner Katelyn McDougall said the society is “seeking relief” from regulations in the zoning bylaw in order to vary the front and rear yard setbacks, the maximum lot coverage and parking requirements.
The proposed development will be a three-storey modular construction building with 21 units and an accessible elevator. An outdoor amenity area will also be included. The existing building, which was built in the 1950s, is outdated and inefficient, and no longer meets the needs of the Shelter Society, said McDougall, so it will be torn down.
“The proposed housing is needed in the community and is compatible with the existing neighbourhood,” she said.
Our Home on 8th, a shelter and supportive housing facility also run by the Shelter Society, is located across the street. The old shelter has been closed since Our Home on 8th was opened earlier this spring.
The former Shelter building is located on two parcels of land, and council is recommending that the society consolidate both properties into one legal parcel prior to the approval of a development variance permit.
“The current structure is located in the middle of the two properties, on both of them,” explained McDougall.
She added that the Shelter Society is currently in the process of consolidating the two properties right now.