Future of Recovery Centre for Women in Doubt
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.