250 News - Your News, Your Views, Now

October 28, 2017 4:27 am

Future of Recovery Centre for Women in Doubt

Friday, May 8, 2015 @ 4:05 PM


For  sale sign posted at  former Haldi Road school on Leslie Road – photo 250news

Prince George, B.C.- It has been four years of   planning, four years of protest by neighbours, and now, the embattled Haldi Road area property that was supposed to be a recovery centre for women, is up for sale.

The owners of the property have listed the property for $700 thousand dollars, a far cry from what has been invested in the project . The original purchase cost plus the costs of engineered plans, development permits, renovations and community meetings could easily put the investment well over the new asking price.

The recovery centre plan was opposed by neighbours in the rural residential neighbourhood from day one. They raised concerns about security, water supply, and the process to change the City’s official community plan to allow for an institutional zoning in their neighbourhood. They took the City to court once and won,   then lost the appeal filed by the City.

The building itself has been under stress, as it has been broken into more than once in the past 6 months. One break in saw vandals turn on the sprinkler system, and write nasty messages on the floors.

All the while, the Northern Supportive Recovery Centre Board was looking for an organization that could operate the facility which was designed to house up to 30 women in a long term, multi-phase addiction recovery program.

For now, there is no operator secured to take on the responsibility of the program, and unless one steps forward before the property sells, the property will, eventually, find a new owner who may have a new purpose in mind for the former school.

Mayor Lyn Hall says no matter what happens with this particular property, there is still a need that needs to be addressed “There is a need for a couple of things around our social services planning. There is no question there is a need for a women’s recovery centre in Prince George, but there is also a need for seniors respite in Prince George. Those are a couple of things I am hearing in the community that are really becoming a focus of some groups. Where those locations are, who knows, who will step up and be the operator I am not sure who that might be, but I think there is a need and requirement for those two services.”

The ad for the property on Leslie Road indicates the zoning is AR1, but that is not correct, it was rezoned AR2, which would allow for the specialized services to be offered by the centre. Of course the zoning could be changed again, as is the case with any property in the City, the applicant need only to apply for a change and go through the process which requires a public hearing and consent of Council.

Property co-owner Craig Wood is not available for comment until Monday.


Well done Haldi Road residents. Your NIMBYism has kept 30 disenfranchised women from getting the help they need to improve their lives. Well done.

LOL! Whatever VOR. There are other better options.

You mean there are ‘other better options’ that aren’t in your neighbourhood .

Editor’s note:
This comment has been edited to remove the name calling

“Well done Haldi Road residents. Your parochial, selfish NIMBYism has kept 30 disenfranchised women from getting the help they need to improve their lives. Well done.”

When people choose a neighbourhood to live, they consider many things. Reputation, distance to schools, the city, safety… etc.
I’m sure many of the Haldi residents chose the area because it is away from the city. Provides a safe, quiet environment for them and their families. They could have purchased a home because of the proximity to an elementary school.

These residents reacted fairly when such a drastic change in zoning occurs. An elementary school filled with children, to a rehab centre for women with drug issues… I’m not a haldi resident, but I can assure you, I would be upset with this change as well.

Editor’s note:
This comment has been removed to eliminate the name calling

The only reason my (white, middle class) sister is alive is because she spent 4 months in a caring, supportive recovery centre. A person would never know it’s a recovery centre looking at it from the outside.

Remember the great hue and cry of the ‘Friendship Lodge’ on Queensway? The NIMBY’s in that case were predicting needles on the ground, drug deals happening on the sidewalk out front, crack heads under every garbage can lid etc. None of that has happened, of course.

What the Haldi Road residents did was purely out of ignorance and self interest.

Editor’s note:
This comment has been edited to remove the name calling

Ladies and gentlemen;
If you cannot refrain from name calling, the ability to comment at all will be removed. Please show some civility.

I here it is zoned for medical marijuana

Why not use the empty Target building instead? It’s already like The Walking Dead in that area anyways, it wouldn’t hurt anything.

This isn’t over yet. Don’t know who’s going to buy it and what they’re going to bring to the neighborhood.

I think the hope was that the Government would step up to the plate and buy the site like they did with Baldy Hues and someone walks away with some quick change. The Government still might step in as the need is still there. A Recovery centre should not be in a residential area any area where there is children, There would be all kinds of people coming and going, people living in the area have rights. This word NIMBY means al lot of different things to a lot of different people. The Friendship Lodge is not perfect lots has gone on there you just don’t hear about it, Its been wonderful for home prices in the area. Prince George is getting a overload of people with problems we can not help them all. Today the Fire Pit had people hanging around on both sides of the street.

Its really too bad that people feel the need to resort to name calling and cutting remarks. Perhaps if the developers of this facility had had a neighbourhood survey like they do for a neighbourhood pub or called a community meeting to discuss their plans, instead of just trying desperately to ram the thing through like they did, there might have come a solution from it.
I heard of another women’s centre out farther west that will be doing the same type of thing with no neighbourhood opposition at all, in fact a lot of neighbourly help with the whole thing.

How many disenfranchised women can afford a private recovery centre? They are not cheap.

There were a lot more issues than it being in a rural residential neighbourhood. It is serviced by a well. There is no way there was enough water to support the use of 30 women and staff and to ensure that there was enough for the necessary sprinkler system. They said they would haul water in. The road bans on those roads are 50%. That would mean several trucks a day 7 days per week pounding out gravel roads that are already in terrible shape. That would be an issue in any neighbourhood in this city not just a quiet rural one. Where is all that water going to go after it was flushed or drained? It is clay in that area so a septic field isn’t an option. That leaves a huge sewer lagoon. Again most people would have an issue with that being added next door.

There are a lot of places a recovery centre can go, preferably somewhere with city sewer and water. Like any business proposition you should do your homework first.

I don’t find a lot that Gitterdun and I agree on, but the logistics of the water situation appears to be a serious issue. That said, there does need to be someplace locally where women can go to get help with addictions, assuming Baldy Hughs doesn’t fit the bill.

VOR the land is already zoned, as the article states it has been rezoned to allow the women’s center to go ahead, this is not the fault of any “nimby’s”. The ad for the school says government funding was the issue – they were expecting legislation that would allow them to say “cha-ching”

The listing says “The legislation did not go forward as planned and has now left the center only partially renovated. 12,600 sq ft building located on just over 10 acres is available for immediate possession.”

I echo VOR to a point.
Well done Haldi residents, you guys rock!
Now, City Hall, do yuh think you can fulfill the promises made years ago
and give the Haldi residents water and sewer? At the price it was when the promise was made???

VOR. Your sarcastic comments make no sense at all. You are blaming the demise of this centre on the Haldi Residents. They did not stop it , the people planning it did not have support from the Providers they hoped for.

“Can we all get along”

– Rodney King

Once again I will mention that Prince George had a co-ed alcohol,drug, treatment centre attached to the hospital. This facility operated for over 30 years. Firstly as Treatment North, and then as the Nechako Treatment Centre.

This was an 18 bed facility with a 28 day treatment program. What happened to it????? The Government shut it down, that’s what happened.

For all the people on this site who are showing concern for a womens treatment facility, where were you when the Government closed this facility. Where were you when they recently closed the facility in Kelowna, which also treated women???

The Government is the one that is responsible for the disappearance of these facilities, because they decided to change the model, to save some money.

So don’t be mislead by all the hoopla around this facility. It was always about the money.

I personally did some digging into this school and here are some approximate costs to bring the water and well up to snuff.

In order for the amount of 30 clients and staff – which will add up closer to 50 people per day (as planned by the society) to reside and work in this building:

The lagoon would require to be upgraded. Cost from a city department whom I spoke to would be approx. $200,000.00

The well is sealed. Cannot use.

The cisterns according to another city department are not sufficient for the everyday usage.

There is insufficient water in the existing cisterns for the fire protection alone. The cost for that was said to be around $300,000.00 to install a system.

The price of the building is now $700,000.00 Wow, considering many of the material and renovations were removed last summer.

Wonder why it is not viable????

Well said palopu. Love how the bashers come out in fine form. The recovery centre got the green light from our cities elected officials. Now that legislation fell through, the haldi folks are held responsible for this as well. Sure gives the fine people of our community a good idea of the mantality of some posters. Almost laughable.

Essentially this fits the pattern of government removing a service from a public operation, so as to privatize the service for profit to insiders… the insiders quick to make a buck didn’t think it through on the availability of sufficient services and only saw dollars acquiring a closed community school on the cheep… got caught with a bad plan that turned up a big fuss and so the government walked away because these kinds of things are not suppose to take place in the light of day so to speak where the public can follow what is actually happening.

Meanwhile the people that would have used the previous addiction service are the real people left hanging in the wind by a government that dropped the ball in their privatization schemes.

Why not something up by the University across the road. No neighbors for miles. The area is fully services with the city utilities needed. No neighbors yet, they would move in knowing who their neighbors are. Well away from any addiction temptations, yet still in the city, and great access to park trails for wholesome exercise activities.

At $6000/bed I doubt it is taking ANYTHING away from the average addicted woman in PG. This facility was borne of the idea to cater to the rich and famous from outside the area who could afford those outrageous prices. If these people truly were doing this to help out addicted women and be accessible to those in need it wouldn’t have been that expensive. It would have been more like a rich b*tches getaway to dry out.

There is a fellow starting up a small scale addiction for men here in PG, called New Dawn Recovery. He hopes it will be more in the lines of 6-8 men.

He was told by a person in planning that the only place he can set up is the old Haldi School. When I found this out I inquired at planning and 2 of the top people said they knew nothing about it.

Further investigating it was found out the first person was wrong with their information.

This City planning department cannot dictate where these facilities go – it is not up to them. And we have problems with the planning department in this city why?

To tell someone that they have no other choice or it is the simplest way to get any type of recovery centre is ludicrous to say the least. Is it perceived power?

Finding options for an existing landowner/business person is wrong…..

Posted on Friday, May 8, 2015 @ 4:37 PM by Dumbfounded
Editor’s note:
This comment has been removed to eliminate the name calling

Sorry, but you have mistaken me for someone that was name calling. I wasn’t name calling.

Really Mr. Hall-it is that simple to have a parcel of land rezoned?
Best you check back to Sept. 27, 2010 and Nov. 16, 2010 and take a look at letters directed to Geisser from Nelson Wight, Manager of Current Planning and Development in the city of Prince George.
Clearly states,” Staff would be non supportive of any attempt to rezone the property.”
I am quite certain you are well informed of this file and the resulting court action.
Does this city play fair with business people. I declare my answer would be an emphatic , “NO.”
Change will eventually come, when the public decides to say “NO MORE BULLYING TACTICS ACCEPTED.”
Will it be during your reign??? I hope so!

Comments for this article are closed.