Retirement concepts wants zoning change

Retirement Concepts, the owner of Williams Lake Seniors Village, has applied to the City to amend the zoning of its Phase 3 assisted-living complex.

Retirement Concepts, the owner of Williams Lake Seniors Village, has applied to the City to amend the zoning of its Phase 3 assisted-living complex.

In a letter to council, Shehzad Somji, Retirement Concepts co-ordinator of planning and control, writes due to “ongoing challenges with renting to our target market i.e. seniors who require a campus of care … we have no option but to open up a limited portion of the Phase 3 project to a broader population.”

Somji suggests the challenge of filling the current units is due to economic conditions that can’t be addressed through “aggressive” marketing campaigns.

The zoning amendment would give the company more “flexibility” and allow for apartment use and congregate housing in the already-built facility, said City staff.

The company is requesting it be allowed to reallocate 28 to 36 of the 85 units for that purpose.

On Tuesday night, council gave the amendment first reading; however, due to community concern over Retirement Concepts’ request  the City has asked the company to undertake a public consultation as the next step.

Staff says this is unusual for zoning amendment applications. In most cases public consultation follows second reading.

The difference in process is due to the amount of public concern regarding the request.

“We want them as applicant to be up-front with the community and we want to be clear as we’re going through the process with council. We want to be clear on what the community is concerned about so council has a lot of information to base their decision on,” say staff.