Guidelines introduced for emergency housing projects in Castlegar

Temporary use permits will be required before projects can begin or expand

New guidelines for emergency housing in the City of Castlegar were endorsed by city council at their Sept. 20 committee of the whole meeting.

The new rules lay out the approval process and requirements for any future emergency housing projects in the city. The city will be using temporary use permits in order to ensure projects fall within the guidelines.

The guidelines state that emergency housing should strive to include accommodations that include a safe and secure place to sleep, hygiene facilities, clean drinking water, nutritious food, harm reduction supplies, medical supplies, mobility and developmental provisions, and secure storage for belongings.

Final approval is scheduled for the Oct. 4 city council meeting.

RELATED: Castlegar introduces permitting process for emergency and transitional housing facilities

Applications for new or expanded services must include:

• Analysis of need including what client groups will be served

• Functional programming such as site needs, safety design considerations, building layout, adequate parking, operating procedures, operational capacity and staffing levels

• Crime prevention strategies

• Operational protocols for monitoring and maintenance of public spaces immediately adjacent to a proposed facility and siting of common areas for smoking, amenities, and social connection.

• Communication protocols for how external service providers and agencies will be engaged, such as municipal staff, elected officials, RCMP, health and social care providers, plus outreach to adjacent property owners and businesses and regular meetings with neighbors

Steps for applying for a temporary use permit for emergency housing:

1. Pre-application meeting with city staff

2. Completed application form and documents reviewed by staff

3. Notice of proposal signage placed at site

4. Staff will prepare a referral package for notification of the applicant, advisory planning commission, applicable agencies and registered owners or occupiers of real property located within 60 meters of the subject property and place notice. If appropriate, a public information meeting will be requested, at the applicant’s expense.

5. Minor temporary use permits will be reviewed by the city’s manager of planning and issued or refused accordingly.

6. Major temporary use permits will be presented for city council consideration. Council may issue the permit, issue the permit with conditions, or refuse the permit based on the feedback provided.

7. Some temporary use permits may require provincial approval. These include proposals within 800 metres of a controlled access highway or proposals involving commercial or industrial buildings exceeding 4,500 square metres in gross floor area.
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