Photo: Laurie Tritschler

Grand Forks’ council asks for public feedback on permit that would keep shelter open until next spring

Council has not yet voted on whether or not to grant BC Housing’s request for another permit

Grand Forks residents will be asked to provide feedback on BC Housing’s request to operate the old Hardy View Lodge as a COVID-19 shelter until next spring, following a city council resolution on Monday, March 22.

READ MORE: Grand Forks’ shelter to run until May, as council defers further extension

Council voted earlier this month to extend the Temporary Use Permit (TUP) for the extreme weather shelter currently operating at the lodge at 2320 78th Ave until May 3.

The vote triggers a public consultation process regarding BC Housing’s bid for a separate TUP which would allow the agency to continue funding the shelter as a COVID refuge for people experiencing homeless, according to a staff memo attached to Monday’s council agenda. People living within 100 metres of the shelter will be mailed information explaining the intent and nature of the permit. The general public is invited to send written submissions to council, the memo explained.

The second TUP would keep the shelter open until March 31, 2022.

Referring to Housing Minister David Eby’s recent use of the Interpretive Act to keep a Penticton shelter open despite the objections of city mayor John Vassilaki, Grand Forks’ councillor Everett Baker said, “I’d rather us be in control of our own destiny than have the BC government come down and say, ‘we’re going to keep it open, anyway.’”

Councillor Christine Thompson said council would be remiss not to open the process to “due process.”

Speaking against, acting mayor Neil Krog said, “we can do this whole TUP process and it could come back 90 per cent against or 90 per cent in favour and we’d still be at this point here today.”

Council is scheduled to vote on the whether or not to grant BC Housing’s second TUP on Monday, April 12. The Gazette will publish the city’s notification explaining how residents can provide written feedback on the TUP process.



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