Retirement Concepts re-zoning moves ahead

Following a public consultation on Retirement Concept’s proposal to reallocate some of its 85 assisted living units to market housing in its Phase 3 at Williams Lake Seniors Village, council moved ahead with a zoning text amendment that would enable that to occur.

Following a public consultation on Retirement Concept’s proposal to reallocate some of its 85 assisted living units to market housing in its Phase 3 at Williams Lake Seniors Village, council moved ahead with a zoning text amendment that would enable that to occur.

Retirement Concepts, the owner of Williams Lake Senior Village, has said that due to market conditions many of its assisted living units are vacant and the organization has little choice but to find some way to fill them.

A City report noted that the company had attempted to offer the units to non profits but that was not successful.

The zoning amendment would give the company more flexibility and allow for apartment use and congregate housing in the already-built facility.

However, prior to proceeding with its application council had requested Retirement Concepts hold a public meeting to gain input on the proposal.

At the May 26 meeting the public raised concerns on a number of issues including the separation of the two areas of the facility, the conversion of the units back to seniors housing if demand required it, Retirement Concepts’ experience with combining uses in a single building, and why the facility didn’t provide more funded assisted living beds.

Retirement Concepts staff noted that the zoning would enable them to convert blocks of rooms back to seniors housing if necessary and could be accomplished on a floor-by-floor basis; the staff further noted that allocating more funded assisted living beds was a government decision.

The City’s advisory planning commission, which reviewed the rezoning application, recommended council proceed through the adoption process but raised concerns about the security of current and future residents and how the building would be separated. There was not a quorum at that APC meeting.

City staff have recommended that the zoning amendment be subject to the applicant providing the City with additional parking spaces for the market rental housing; and that the application be subject to a restrictive covenant to ensure all conversions from the existing senior family residential use to apartment or congregate housing be subject to approval by the City.

A public hearing on the rezoning text amendment will occur July 5 in council chambers.