Women’s rehab centre proposed for North Van
A nine-bed drug and alcohol rehab centre for women may soon be located minutes east of Murdo Fraser Golf Course in North Vancouver.
The proposed site, which is owned by the District of North Vancouver and currently sits empty, was chosen for its tranquil setting against forest and park land.
The centre would provide treatment to women from North Van, who would stay anywhere from three to five months, instead of moving them to other communities.
“Within an eight-block area (on the Downtown East Side) there were approximately 123 service providers. Many of them purport to be recovery,” said Coun. Doug MacKay-Dunn, who was a police officer for 31 years. “Many women are sent there to recover, in the middle of a drug ghetto by their communities who don’t want to deal with them.”
Turning Point Recovery Society, a non-profit organization that already operates in Richmond and Vancouver, wants to build and operate the North Shore Support Recovery House for Women at 2651 Lloyd Ave. in North Van, south of Edgemont Village. The district intends to offer a long-term lease to the society at a nominal rate.
Council discussed the idea on Dec. 3, with most in favour, saying North Van is in need of its own rehab centre.
Building the 3,500-square-foot recovery house, however, wouldn’t be simple.
The parcel of land chosen was purchased in 1969 by the District and is supposed to be held for park purposes.
A house on the lot was rented out until it was torn down two years ago. Now the area is vacant, fitting in with the park surrounding it.
On Dec. 3, district council voted to go ahead with an “alternative approval process” whereby at least 10 per cent, or around 6,000 people, in the district who are eligible to vote must be against removing the park dedication in order keep the land strictly used for park use.
“We must protect these parcels of (park) land in our urban setting, not just for us but for future generations,” said Kim Mitchell, who read council a letter from a neighbour who lives close to the site.
“If any of it is redesigned and or rezoned, where do we draw the line?” she continued, drawing applause from the council audience.
Preliminary feedback, however, has been positive from groups such as the Edgemont and Upper Capilano community associations and the Gloria Dei Lutheran Church council, which is located near the proposed site.
“Looking at siting a recovering house on the property is inline with the values we hold as a congregation,” said Kim Staus, pastor at Gloria Dei Lutheran Church, adding he has never seen anyone using the lot as a park since the house was torn down.
Signatures opposing the park rededication must be received by district staff by Jan. 28. If the project is given the go ahead, construction could start next summer.