The Westcoast Native Health Society has officially purchased Westporte Park from the City of Port Alberni at cost of $163,000.
The sale went through on July 18 after over a year of debate.
There has been much back-and-forth over the sale of Westporte Park to the Westcoast Native Health Society, who own the neighbouring Rainbow Gardens seniors facility. The latest plan has a shared use for the park, including seniors housing, gardens and a pickleball court. An earlier proposal was heavily critized by Westporte residents for being “too vague.” The current proposal continues to see critisism although a plan has assuaged some concerns.
The 0.6 hectare park is currently zoned as parkland and will to be rezoned to institutional before any development could begin. If the development does not begin within five years of the sale, the city has the option to buy back the property for the same as the sale price—$163,000, as appraised by Vancouver Island Appraisals in July 2014.
The city will lease Westporte Park back from the Westcoast Native Health Society at a cost of $1 a year until construction of the new facility begins.
According to plans provided by the society, the expansion will yield 20 new adaptable housing units with the possibility of 10 more complex care units in the future. Currently, Rainbow Gardens has 30 units.