L’Arche rezoning bid in Courtenay passes second reading

Courtenay council gave second reading to a zoning amendment to allow L'Arche Comox Valley to construct an outreach centre.

Courtenay council gave second reading to a zoning amendment to allow L’Arche Comox Valley to construct an outreach centre and residential suites to house developmentally disabled clients.

The two-storey property is at 1465 Grieve Ave. near Courtenay Elementary School.

L’Arche started locally in 2000 with the opening of Jubilee House on 19th Street. It is one of 29 L’Arche communities across Canada — the only one on Vancouver Island — part of a network of 136 communities in 40 countries.

“In many ways we’re like an extended family,” said community leader Christine Monier, noting some clients are at risk of homelessness.

Neighbourhood reaction to the proposal has been generally positive.

Coun. Ronna-Rae Leonard said L’Arche is a “great organization” that helps integrate marginalized people.

L’Arche (French for The Ark) has paid $10,000 for various fees, amendments and permits. Development cost charges are estimated at $115,000.

A public hearing will be held at the April 7 council meeting.

L’Arche hosts a public launch of its I Belong campaign April 4 at 11 a.m. at the Prime Chop House.

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Council gave second reading to a zoning amendment bylaw pertaining to new federal regulations for medicinal marijuana, effective April 1.

The objective of the new program is to redress problems incurred by the Marijuana Medical Access Program, which ends March 31, and to establish a regulated commercial market of licensed producers.

The City has received complaints about grow-ops but Health Canada regulations have made it difficult to address concerns about smell, noise and traffic. News rules will increase potential for regulation and enforcement.

A public hearing will be held April 7.

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The City will match a $2,500 commitment by the Downtown Courtenay Business Improvement Association toward this year’s Elevate the Arts event in the downtown core.

Coun. Manno Theos said it’s a small amount towards a festival with great energy that fills the downtown.

“Ongoing support is the way to go,” Coun. Jon Ambler said of supporting such events.

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Anderton Avenue between First and Fifth streets will be closed to traffic from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday during the Road Runners’ half-marathon. The race is among the largest events in the annual FrontrunnersIsland series, attracting more than 600 runners.

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The inaugural Cruise for Ciaran is April 12 and Walk for Hearts is May 4.

The former, postponed last month due to bad weather, is to raise awareness of wearing helmets when skateboarding or biking, and to draw attention to the value of organ donation.

The latter raises money and awareness of local cardiac care initiatives. The annual Walk for Hearts goes from the Courtenay Airpark to the Filberg Centre.



Comox Valley Record

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